Christmas Day

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Weekly Announcements

December 25, 2016

Coffee and Donuts – There will not be coffee and donuts after Mass either today or next Sunday, January 1.

Update Membership Information – If you have moved, changed your contact information,  or had a change in the members of your household since registering with Mater Dei, please send this information to the office before the end of the year so that we can update your records.

Catechism Christmas Break – Our next day of catechism classes will be Sunday, January 15.

St. Tarcisius Meeting – We will not have a St. Tarcisius meeting in January.  Our next meeting will be February 4.

Adult Convert / Confirmation Class – Our next class will be on Tuesday, January 10 at 7:00pm.

Homeschoolers Class Opportunity – The spring semester of Mater Dei’s Friday Academic Program will begin on January 20, 2017. Courses include Church History for ages 12-18 and Lives of the Saints for ages 6-11. Any new family seeking information or wanting to join the co-op may contact Dawn Forbeck at forbecks@comcast.net.

Sunday  Parking Reminder – We have permission to park behind the buildings located across the street from the church during evenings and weekends.  The entrance to these parking spaces is by way of Academy Alley, which is directly behind these houses.  It is the first alley immediately after State Street.  These parking spaces can only be reached by turning left off Front Street.  Please report any incident that might cause the owners concern, as we do not want to jeopardize the parking hospitality given to us from these generous property owners.  Also remember, the parking lot along the side of St. Lawrence is not to be used.

Christmas Flowers – Thank you to those who used their Christmas Flowers offering envelope to help defray the cost of the flowers, as well as to those who arranged and care for them.

Year End Contributions – Those considering making a year-end donation, please remember Mater Dei as we look toward the long-term future of our community.

The Shepherds Visit the Manger

The shepherds are surrounded with a great light; they see an angel, and the sight fills them with terror.  When Almighty God is pleased to visit a soul, He first sends a certain terror into that soul to make it humble, but soon that fear is succeeded by a holy confidence, “Fear not,” seems to whisper this heavenly visitor to the poor shepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to you and to all the people.”  They have been expecting the Messiah.  Behold He is come; today is born to you a Savior at Bethlehem.

How shall you know Him, that great and long expected Redeemer?  “You shall find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.”  Yes; that Infant is the Messiah.  The swaddling clothes are the insignia of His majesty, the manger, His throne.  The pride of man is here crushed, and here it is that Thou dost really commence Thy mission.  O Savior of mankind.  Open our eyes, that we may know the three marks of the newborn King: humility, poverty, self mortification.

The shepherds have heard the words spoken by the angel.  However strange they are, still they trust to the wisdom, power, and goodness of God; and, guided only by the feelings of their grateful hearts, they say to one another: “Let us pass over to Bethlehem in search of the new born Savior.”  The angels had given them no command—a fervent soul needs no command; to point out the good to be done is enough; it well knows that good inspirations are like messages from God.

Scarcely has the angel disappeared when the shepherds depart; wise and prudent, they go with haste.  The Lord has been pleased to speak and to make Himself known to them.  How prompt their obedience.  When, O my God, shall I be concerned with the things that concern Thee?  When shall I, under the pressure of Thy love, forget created beings?  When shall I forget myself in order to search for Thee with the same eagerness as that of the shepherds?  “They found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant, who was lying in the manger” – a fitting reward for their simplicity and obedience.  The utter poverty of the infant God does not discourage them.  Far from it.  Rather it encourages them to approach the Savior who is so easy to access.

They give themselves up to prayer and contemplation, and they show Him respect and veneration to the best of their ability.  These good people spent the whole time they were at the grotto in meditation, though they scarcely knew what meditation is.  They gave themselves to the infant God, and He, finding no obstacle on their part, spoke to their willing hearts.  Let us be as willing as they, and Jesus will act in us at the time of meditation as He did in them.

–  Fr. Chaignon L. De Goesbriand