Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 23, 2018

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is

the fruit of your womb.  — Luke 1:42

The energy for these few days before Sunday is going into the Masses for this weekend and getting ready for Christmas.  The poinsettias arrive tomorrow, Saturday, and I have to get my own Christmas cards at least addressed and stamped tomorrow as well.  Painting the picture for it was tougher this year – I do it every year and this year was a flop – so I had to do it again.

We had another baptism last Saturday. They are always a great pleasure. It is good to see the life of our families going on.  I was talking with Bishop Cummins earlier in the week.  About families and parishes. There is a lot of talk that younger families are not interested in parish life.  But as we talked I realized that what we think of as regular family parishes were not ones that families liked to go to.  It was the other way around.  It was the big boom in marriages and families after World War II, and what was going in in the families,  that created what we think of as the “tradition-nal parish.” That parish we all knew was not a cause or norm – it was an effect that came about to meet the needs of the new families – much of it having to do with educating the baby boomers.

We built our big, new post war institutions like schools and hospitals and vast housing developments on the war vets with their GI Mortgages , who nearly all got married, bought houses, had many kids, and built new towns and huge parishes.  It turned out to be the most aberrant generation in the history of the country.  Then it went back to the way it had been.  People married nd around  30 or 35.  That was not ‘later.’ It was the way it had been. This creation of the big everything “new normal” left closed schools and closed hospitals and closed parishes in its wake when that short explosion went away. .  Then people went back to smaller families, marrying later, just as they had since the Civil War.

Well, the parishes and parish life that their grandparents built 75 years doesn’t meet the styles of the younger folk, just as their grandparents’ style of living doesn’t fit them either.

Interesting to see where things will go.  Par-ishes used to be abuzz with parishioners’ activities.  No more.  I shower in the dark in the morning because there is no one to change the fluorescent lights in the bathroom that burned out. We live in a world of ‘there is no one to’ in so many areas of our lives today. I don’t think it will change.  The abundance of services that my generation took for granted is gone.

That is true of the tribunal where I work as well. Three of the offices in our little section are empty.  To my surprise I ended up with four new annulment cases this week – having thought that I was done for 2018.  So I have made up my mind that I am. I don’t think I’m going to have a good idea until 2019. And maybe not even then.

Fr. David

MASS INTENTIONS

Sat, December 22, 5:00 PM…. John Amaral

Sun, December 23, 9:30 AM…Fred Siegmund

Mon, December 24, 8:00 PM…..Christmas Eve

Tues, December 25, 9:30 AM….Christmas Day

Wed, December 26, 9:30 AM….,NO Mass

Sat, December 29, 5:00 PM….People of the Parish

Sun, December 30, 9:30 AM…People of the Parish

TODAY’S READINGS

First Reading — From Bethlehem-Ephrathah shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel. (Micah 5:1-4a)

Psalm — Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.  (Psalm 80)

Second Reading — We have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Christ once for all.  (Hebrews 10:5-10)

Gospel — Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken by the Lord would be fulfilled.

(Luke 1:39-45)

READINGS FOR THE WEEK

Tuesday:            Night: Is 9:1-6; Ps 96:1-3, 11-13;

Ti 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14

Day: Is 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6;

Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 [1-5, 9-14]

Saturday:           1 Jn 2:3-11; Ps 96:1-3, 5b-6;

Lk 2:22-35

Sunday:             Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-5;

1 Jn 3:1-2, 21-24; Lk 2:41-52

December 16, 2018…………………….$1,712.95

Ignatian Prayer Series for Women Only every other Monday, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., in the Parish Hall.  Next dates are December 31, January 14 and 28. Contact Wendy Hallett at 925-817-7741.

Bible Study – Join us for Bible Study in the Parish Hall every other Wednesday from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. Next study dates are January 16 and 30.  Contact Anne Brussok at 510-517-9905. Christmas LiturgiesChristmas EveMonday, December 24 at 8:00 p.m.Our “Midnight Mass” will be preceded by Christmas Music and Carols at 7:30 p.m. After Mass, all are welcome to join us for Christmas Munchies, Cookies and Cocoa in the Parish Hall.Christmas DayTuesday, December 25 at 9:30 a.m. 2019 Donation Envelopes Please pick-up your assigned box from the Church entry way table.  Note:  2018 tax donation letters will be mailed by January 31.                     

Giving Tree – Our annual “Giving Tree” is set-up at the back of the church – please take a star or two, purchase the item listed and place under the tree, unwrapped.  After Epiphany these needed items will go to the Family House of Oakland Children’s Hospital where families can stay for free while their child is receiving care.