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Prepping for Christmas Mass/services | By Rev. Nathan Reesman

Washington Co., WI – Dear Friends at Saint Frances Cabrini Parish and Saint Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish: Praised be Jesus Christ.

This weekend we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of the Advent season, and this Friday of course the great feast of Christmas. It would be difficult to deny that even with the steady march of the Church’s liturgical calendar, reminding us of what never really changes, things do in fact feel different for us this year as we seek to celebrate these sacred days.

It is true that gatherings look different, and that the customary routines of shopping, or decorating, or traveling may be altered.

Fourth Sunday of Advent week 4

There is a lot that looks different than what we are accustomed to. Yet, as we celebrate our solemn feasts, I think it is most important that we focus not so much on what is different about this year, even though we do not of course want to dismiss the differences as insignificant. We need to focus on what is still the same and will always be the same, no matter what happens to be shifting in the details of the world around us.

Just like in the Nazareth story from this weekend of the Annunciation to Mary, God still seeks to enter into the world, and he needs to do so through willing and open hearts.

Those hearts should be ours regardless of whatever else may be altered around us. God still seeks to be born among us, and as the Christmas story reminds us over and over again, he does find a way to do so.

He does so even in the face of what at first seem like hundreds of obstacles and challenges. His birth among us in order to dwell among us permanently is now a historical and a theological fact, and nothing alters that at all. This is the real source of Christmas joy: our realization and conviction that nothing can alter the reality that he is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

Just like in the Christmas story, God still seeks and draws adorers to himself, no matter what the circumstances happen to be. A group of shepherds was an unusual group of adorers. The same can be said about a trio of pagan magi from the East. Each in their own way, and according to their own station in life, gave adoration to the one who is among us.

They did so through their concrete circumstances, rather than in spite of them. The shepherds could have adopted an attitude of dismissal about the fact that Jesus was not born in the way they were used to expecting it to happen, in some other customary or grand manner worthy of a political messiah.

No, they found him as they were and where he was at, and in these circumstances they offered adoration. None of these things change this year, or any year for that matter. On these firm and foundational realities of the Christian faith we place all of our hope. From them we find all of our joy and all of our peace.

Side note: We’re compiling a list of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses/services.

Feel free to submit yours and a refreshed list will be posted daily.

Below is the entry for St. Frances Cabrini

 

Mass schedule Holy Angels

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