Gaudete Sunday!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, Rejoice. Indeed the Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:4-5)

The Entrance Antiphon for the 3rd Sunday of Advent is the above quote from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians! It also happens to be the verse from which our bishop chose his motto – “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Gaudete in Domino semper.

Holy Mother Church bids us rejoice as the waiting, the anticipation of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord draws ever nearer! My brothers and sisters, we have so many things for which to rejoice! When I begin to think of all the infinite ways the Lord has visited me this year, I am nearly paralyzed with awe, wonder, and joy! Joy is at the heart of the Christian life. Joy deeply resides in us Christians. The root of joy is hope and our Hope is Jesus Christ! He is Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, the Light of the World! He is our Savior, our Redeemer! The celebration of His birth is near!

When people see us, do they see joy, do they see hope? Has anyone asked us why we have such hope and joy? If not, they should! We are a people of joy! Jesus is the reason for this joy. He is our life and our salvation. May our hearts and lives sing with the joy of the Lord!

One more week! A reminder so that no one is caught off guard! December 24 is the 4th Sunday of Advent. December 25 is a Monday. So, what does that mean? To fulfill your Sunday obligation and receive communion for Christmas, you must come to mass at the Saturday evening Vigil Mass (5:00 PM) or Sunday morning (December 24).

We will begin Christmas Masses at 5:00 PM on December 24, Sunday evening. We will have two masses offered at that time and the two masses offered at 8:00 PM.
You could also go to mass Sunday morning and then attend mass on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25 at 10:00 AM (one of the most beautiful masses of the year in my opinion!).

Begin planning – which 4th Sunday of Advent Mass and which Christmas Mass will you and your family attend?

May the joy of Jesus reign in your hearts this week!

~ Fr. Daniel Firmin

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