- Pope Francis Celebrates 79th Birthday
(Belleville News and Beyond)
- Handel's Messiah Performed Unannounced at Food Court in Canada Amazing!!!
(Helpful Hints for Life)
- Call out to Jesus as we approach these final days of Advent
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
A treasured gift of Christmas for many Catholics is Midnight Mass. ‘Midnight!?! Like 12:00AM. You mean it get’s 12 o’clock twice in one day!’
Yes, midnight. Why would we celebrate Mass on Christmas at Midnight? BECAUSE CHRIST WAS BORN IN THE NIGHT. Some believe right atmidnight. And while so many slept at His birth 2000 years ago, we being awake commemorate His birth at night in the first minutes of the birth-day of His coming forth from the womb of Mary.
There are actually three Masses: at midnight, dawn, and during the day. They were mystically connected with aboriginal, Judaic, and Christian dispensations, or to the triple "birth" of Christ: in Eternity, in Time, and in the Soul. St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church, goes into more details:
“On Christmas Day, however, several Masses are said on account of Christ's threefold nativity. Of these the first is His eternal birth, which is hidden in our regard. and therefore one Mass is sung in the night, in the "Introit" of which we say: "The Lord said unto Me: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." The second is His nativity in time, and the spiritual birth, whereby Christ rises "as the day-star in our [Vulg.: 'your'] hearts" (2 Peter 1:19), and on this account the Mass is sung at dawn, and in the "Introit" we say: "The light will shine on us today." The third is Christ's temporal and bodily birth, according as He went forth from the virginal womb, becoming visible to us through being clothed with flesh: and on that account the third Mass is sung in broad daylight, in the "Introit" of which we say: "A child is born to us." Nevertheless, on the other hand, it can be said that His eternal generation, of itself, is in the full light, and on this account in the gospel of the third Mass mention is made of His eternal birth. But regarding His birth in the body, He was literally born during the night, as a sign that He came to the darknesses of our infirmity; hence also in the Midnight Mass we say the gospel of Christ's nativity in the flesh.” -Summa Theologica III:83:2
This 4th Sunday of Advent gives us 5 days until Christmas Eve and at Midnight transforms into Christmas Day and thus begins the Christmas Season. May we be ready to receive all that the Lord so desires to give to us.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. > Readings <
Midnight Mass (from Old English midde “middle” and from German naht “night”)
- the first of three Masses offered at 12 o’clock on Christmas Day solemnly marking the birth of Jesus who was born at night
Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession." -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1378
You may have heard of Handel's Messiah, but you have probably never heard it fully performed, or never heard it fully performed in a Food Court. IT IS AMAZING!!! Here is a professional choir performing it unannounced in a Food Court to the surprise of many. Read more at website, then scroll down and click to actually see the performance unfold. (over 45 million hits) (If link does not let you click it, cut and paste it in web address bar.)
More on this piece from George Frideric Handel
> The Holy Angels <
This website will tell you all you need to know about the angels. Using the Scriptures and the Doctors of the Church Father Raphael V. O’Connell, SJ in his book, The Holy Angels, incorporates what is known and surmised by the inspired utterances of the sacred writers. This is a great resource for deepening our love and understanding of the angels.
"To accomplish so great a work" - the dispensation or communication of his work of salvation - "Christ is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, 'the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,' but especially in the Eucharistic species. By his power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes, it is really Christ himself who baptizes. He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he has promised 'where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them."'
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 1088
After the Pope blew out his birthday candle, he addressed the young people who were gathered for their annual Christmas audience, thanking them for the birthday cake and well wishes. The Holy Father went on to bless the movement's commitment to the mission of welcoming migrants and encouraged them to become missionaries of Christ.
To “journey towards the Lord means to take the good road - not the evil one; it means to
put oneself on the road of forgiveness, of peace, of solidarity,” Pope Francis told the youth.
“In this regard, your initiative in favor of Migrants in the Agrigento diocese is a very good one,” he continued.
'Azione Cattolica' is an association of Italian lay people who aim to proclaim the Gospel through their community and in education. One of their recent projects includes working with migrants, for which Pope Francis offered prayers and blessings.
“So many brothers and sisters of ours who arrive full of hope, but are also wounded and in desperate need of so much, including peace and bread,” the Holy Father noted, asking the movement to continue their contributions to their community and to migrants in need.
Pope Francis encouraged the youth gathered to be charitable with their possessions, saying that they should share with those less fortunate than themselves. He also offered a blessing and greeting to the leaders of 'Azione Cattolica,' thanking them for their work for the Church.
The movement 'Azione Cattolica' was only one among many well-wishers who expressed birthday greetings to the Pope on his birthday.
Yesterday at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki gave Pope Francis a birthday cake in the shape of a sombrero. Alazraki noted on Twitter that the cake was given “in the name of Mexico, who awaits you” - speaking of Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Mexico in February.
In addition, thousands of users on Twitter, including various news stations and dioceses, wished the Holy Father a happy birthday under the hashtag #HappyBirthdayPopeFrancis.
“Do you mean aspirin?” asks the pharmacist.
The scientist slaps his forehead. “That’s it!” he says. “I can never remember the name.”
The Cost of Vinyl
Most of our music store customers have a story about their old vinyl collection. Once, a man asked how much a record cost. My coworker quoted him the price, then added, “But there’s a surcharge if we have to listen to how your mother made you throw out all your old vinyl records.”
SOME THOUGHTS-My friends tell me that cooking is easy, but it’s not easier than not cooking.
-How can you ever be late for anything in London? They have a huge clock right in the middle of the town.
Some mice enter heaven on Christmas. St. Peter asks them what they would like for Christmas. They say some roller skates, so he equips them with some.
Next, a cat comes to heaven. St. Peter asks what the cat would like for Christmas. The cat looking around seeing the mice enjoying their gifts says, “Meals on wheels.”
A Sign of the Times
As a little girl climbed onto Santa's lap, Santa asked the usual, "And what would you like for Christmas?"
The child stared at him open mouthed and horrified for a minute, then gasped: "Didn't you get my E-mail?"
None of that Allowed Here
A minister was completing a temperance (no drinking alcohol) sermon. With great emphasis he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had
All the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
Sermon complete, he sat down.
The song Leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, nearly laughing, "For our closing song, Let us sing Hymn #365, 'Shall We Gather at the River'."
O Come, O Come, Emmanual!
Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives. Catechism of the Catholic Church 1332