Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas Season & a Blessed new year.
Celebrate the Birth of Christ
Leave up those decorations and continue to rejoice! As we all know, Christmas doesn’t end on December 25, but is only the beginning, as we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world!
‘The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts, and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with him…including the fact that he was born to die for us.’
The Christmas season is filled with feasts and constant celebration:
Wednesday, December 27 – Feast of St. John, Apostle & Evangelist
Today we honor John, writer of one of the four Gospels, who answered the call to be an apostle of Jesus. Pray about your own vocation today.
John and his brother, James, Galilean fishermen called the “sons of thunder,” were chosen to be among the Twelve Apostles. John was with Jesus at the Trans-figuration, in the Garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary. It was to this “beloved disciple” that Jesus entrusted his mother’s care.
Thursday, December 28 – Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Today, as we remember the Holy Innocents put to death by King Herod, pray a rosary for life and meditate on the glorious mysteries. Take time to visit our shrine in the church and light a candle for the Holy Innocents & all the children who have left this world too soon. Pray for greater respect for all life from conception until natural death.
Friday, December 29 – Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, Bishop & Martyr
Read today about St. Thomas Becket, once a royal chancellor of England. He was slain in his own cathedral for defending the Church from the inteference of King Henry II. Becket gave his life for the sake of justice. Pray today for the many Christians who still face persecution and death because of their faith.
Ever since December 25, we have been celebrating Christ’s birth. On the last day of His octave, we honor His Mother.
*This year, the Solemnity is not a Holy Day of Obligation, but all are encouraged to attend the 7:30am Mass and contemplate this holy day!
Tuesday, January 2 – Memorial of Sts Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
On this, their feast day, learn about and pray through the intercession of Sts. Basil and Gregory, who were named Doctors of the Church because of their profound theological and spiritual influence.
“Do everything possible to make yourself worthy of the Kingdom. Do not disdain the invitation you have received.”
(Basil the Great, Exhortation to Baptism, 7-8)
“But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation; JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming humanity the Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: “Jesus,” “YHWAH saves.” The name “Jesus” contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2666)
Thursday, January 4 – Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious
Today we remember Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first person born in America to be canonized as a saint. She married, raised five children, was widowed, converted to Catholicism and started a religious order, the Sisters of Charity.
Friday, January 5 – Memorial of St. John Neumann
Today we remember John Neumann who helped expand Catholic education in the United States in the 1800s. In addition to promoting education, St. John Neumann was also known for his work with migrants and refugees.
Monday, January 8 – Baptism of the Lord
Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, when through the descent of a dove, God made manifest that Jesus was his beloved Son, sent for the salvation of the world.
“The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him, he cleansed the waters.”
(United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 184)