“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar…and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee…and Lysanias was tetrach of…” Did you need to pinch yourself awake during the first few lines of this Sunday’s Gospel? John the Baptist received quite a prelude today as Luke described the religious and political leadership of the time period. Scripture is divinely inspired, and we believe that everything that made it into the Bible is there for a reason. These lines remind us of an important truth. The Christmas story isn’t a fairy tale or nursery rhyme. It’s not a parable we say to give meaning to the holiday. At Christmas, God’s presence is made tangible in a precise moment in time. The birth of Christ is a historical event. As precursor to Jesus’ preaching, the ministry of John the Baptist is also a historical event. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.” John’s call to repentance and the forgiveness of sins happened in a particular time and place. But that does not mean it is limited to first century Palestine! God continues to move in our daily lives. What we hear in today’s Gospel – and what we anticipate at Christmas – occurs in our daily lives. God works in concrete ways in time and space. He did that 2,000 years ago, and He continues to do so today! This Sunday, examine your own Christmas preparations. Is there anything you need to repent of before the Christmas season? Are there low points in your life, valleys to “be filled” by the love of God? Are their mountainous obstacles in your spiritual life? How can they be “made low”? Are you making decisions that have moved you away from God? This Advent season is the time for them to “be made straight and made smooth.” Prepare the way in your heart for Christ today!
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I have started to see signs that state “Keep Christ in Christmas”, I have also already seen signs that say keep the church and Christ out of Christmas. The second is sponsored by Atheists of America. When I first saw the signs (usually billboards) from the atheists, it made me angry. However, now when I see these same signs it just makes me sad for them. I think to myself not only can I not imagine Christmas without Christ (which of course is absurd, for you cannot have Christ-mas without Christ) but I really cannot imagine everyday life without Christ. I think those people who do not believe in God have to face life’s difficulties alone, that when they are alone, they are truly alone! I take comfort in knowing that I am never truly alone and that when I face problems or sorrows I do it with Christ at my side – with God carrying me through it and how these people do not have Him to help them! It breaks my heart and very honestly, I do not know how they make it in this world. So rather then hate them, pray for them. I believe deep down they know there is a God (they do not believe in God and I do not believe in them) but just do not want to admit it or accept it for one reason or another – pray that they come to see the light, the light that is Christ so they can experience what is truly a Merry Christmas.
God Bless you and have a wonderful week,
The gift of Altar Flowers for the first two weeks of November has been given in memory of Juana Maldonado & CharlesSylvestri by Jesse & Joanna Sylvestri.
The Sanctuary Lamp for the first two weeks of December has been given in memory of Carmela & Augie Sylvestri by Jesse & Joanna Sylvestri. The second two weeks of December have been given in memory of Stanley Czlapinski, the Eckel Family and the DeMeo Family by Maryann & Walter Eckel.
SCRIPTURAL REFLECTIONS ON STEWARDSHIP
“And this is my prayer; that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value...” Glittery holiday ads can blind us to our stewardship values and distort our needs and wants. It is important that during this season of endless buying we remember that each of us also has the need to give back to God and to those that are in need.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK
That God will relieve their suffering and restore them to health.Please pray for:Kellie Salata, Kelly Chinchar,Jessica, Carol Mangino,Gloria,Daniel Breslin, Stanley,Marie, Bonnie, Helen Traina, Joseph Marrone,Bill Marshall, Anthony, Michael, Denise Gautier, Joseph, Christine Morrison, Jessica Esopo, Jack McShera, Theresa McPeak, Walter Eckel. Adelgunde Marshall.
MIRACULOUS MEDAL NOVENA
The Miraculous Medal Novena will be moving to Saturday morning after the 8:30 am mass starting in January. There are two reasons for the move – first, there are people who have expressed to me that they would like to attend but cannot during the week due to their work schedule. Second, Saturdays are dedicated to our Blessed Mother in the Church and it is the more appropriate day to have a Novena to her.
MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2018 8:30 Helene Schinski by Mr. & Mrs. Tom Schinn
TUESDAY,DECEMBER 11, 2018 8:30 Annv. Victoria Sherman by Joan Vicenzotti
WEDNESDAY,DECEMBER 12, 2018 8:30 Agnes Sari by Mr. & Mrs. Antonio Sari
THURSDAY,DECEMBER 13, 2018 8:30 James DeMeo by Maryann Eckel
FRIDAY,DECEMBER 14, 2018 8:30 John Robinson by a Friend
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2018 8:30 Annv. Beatrice Graziano by Fr. Graz 5:00 pm Cecelia & George Furman & Bertha Nemec by Mr. & Mrs. George Furman
SUNDAY,DECEMBER 16, 2018 8:00 For the People of the Parish 10:00 Jerald Diaz by the Family 12:00 Rose Musto by Maryrose Higgins
It is the best way to ensure our parish receives the support needed for our operating expenses and ministries? eGiving through Parish Giving! We are excited to introduce “Enhanced Stewardship through Electronic Funds Transfer” for your weekly offertory. No more envelopes or last-minute check writing! Electronic giving is safe and easy for you and good stewardship for the parish. Please enroll today by visiting www.icchackensack.com. and click on the logo that is on top of the website. Increased enrollment with Parish Giving will help stabilize our parish finances. There are brochures in the pews or visit Parish Giving at www.parishgiving.org