Our Christmas Celebration Begins

Dec. 24, 2023

The Fourth Sunday of Advent


The Gospel reading for this last Sunday of Advent, is the story of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel to Mary. This is the most read Bibe story in the Missal of the Church. In addition to the Solemnities of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God (Jan. 1), and the Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25), and The Fourth Sunday of Advent, it is also the Gospel for most of the several more minor Marian feast days throughout the year. March 25, the Annunciation, is also the patronal feast day for Mother of God Church, as our full name is “The Annunciation of the Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God”.
   
We celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent this morning, but we begin our Christmas celebrations this afternoon at 4:30 pm, as today is also Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas!


Christmas is actually the second most holy day of the Church’s year. Easter, the celebration of Christ’s victory over sin and death, which won for us our salvation, is the first.
   
On this day we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem. Sadly, because of the war between Israel and Hamas, Bethlehem will not celebrate Christmas this year. Bethlehem is in Palestine, although in the West Bank, not Gaza. What a tragic symbol of how our world still falls so short of all that the Prince of Peace desires for all of us.

As you will see in my thoughts on the Octave of Christmas and the other feasts we celebrate this week, we want to not sentimentalize or romanticize this feast. Jesus is born to save the world from its slavery to sin and death. It will cost Him everything.
   
May our Christmas celebrations lead to each of us making a greater commitment to following Jesus with all our hearts, our minds, our souls and our strength, and to work with Him to build a world in which it is easier to live and to love.
--Fr. Mike Comer

Our Masses for Christmas will be:
Sunday, Dec. 24, 4:30 pm Christmas Eve Mass
Monday, Dec. 25, 9:30 am Christmas Mass; 11:30 am Christmas Mass

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