Christmas is a time of great celebration in which families come together. It is a time to pray and a time to party. As Catholics, we know that those two things often go together, because as our Lord says, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?” (Matthew 9:15) When we are with Christ, it is always a time to rejoice. I just have three quick notes before we enter into this great feast.
First, please be mindful of the norms to receive Holy Communion. Receiving Eucharist is not eating common food for our bodily nourishment but the King of Kings who comes down to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Therefore we need to make a place for Him in our hearts and lives. If we find ourselves living a life contrary to His teachings, then we are rejecting His grace. As Catholics, we need to live a fully integrated life, not one in contradiction with itself. A Catholic may receive communion if they are in good standing, united to the Church and not aware of committing any mortal sin. (Can 915, 916; CCC 1415) If you judge yourself to not being in good standing or being in a state of mortal sin, then please refrain from receiving communion. A good confession is all it takes for someone to enter into a state of grace and I invite anyone to contact me if they would like to go to confession.
Second, on December 28th at 5:30 pm, we will be celebrating the Feast of the Holy Innocents with a Latin High Mass. As you may be able to tell from my previous letters, I have a special love for the Latin Mass. I find them incredibly peaceful and focused on the presence of God. A High Mass is a Latin Mass in which all the various parts are sung. I think this really brings out the beauty of the Mass. As I was celebrating low Masses on the Fridays of Advent, certain elements fell into place perfectly. So, I’m taking this as a sign from the Holy Spirit that now is the right time to celebrate a High Mass in our parish. So many people try to relegate the Latin Mass to something in the past that should be forgotten. But, I find that the Latin Mass emphasizes everything we should hold dear in our Catholic faith. The Latin Mass has deepened my own faith and priesthood in many ways. So, whether or not you come to it to remember the patron saints of our parish or out of love for the Mass, I hope that you give this form of the Mass of try. It will be beautiful.
Third, I would like to thank our St. Vincent de Paul Society for the work they did this season. Through their efforts, our parish has given presents to over fifty families in need. May God bless you all for your generosity.
And finally: pray, make merry and love Our Lord above all things.
God bless, and Merry Christmas!
P.S. I will be ending Adoration at 5 pm (December 28th) to celebrate our Parish Feast Day.