St. Stephen Cathedral Mass
Blessed Sacrament Chapel Mass
Published on December 6th, 2013
I. What Kind of Christmas Do You Want To Have? “Begin with the end in mind.” Its not just a Stephen Covey principle, but it is also what the Church calls us to do, and what John the Baptizer proclaims: Reform your life in preparation for Christ to be born within. It’s refreshing to witness more people coming to daily 7:00am and 12:05 noon Mass, and participating in Vespers (the official Evening Prayer of the Church) at 5:30 on Sunday evenings during the season of Advent. Don’t miss the opportunities to prepare: seeking forgiveness, reaching out to someone in need, listening more than talking, watching less TV, recognizing a teenager, mending a relationship, sending a card to a shut in or sick person, turning off our gadgets, consciously slowing down, making silence, reflecting on the Presence of God.
II. Conception without Original Sin and an elderly woman bearing a child: Both of these marvels are possible for God! As we celebrate Mary, born to Joachim and Anne, being free from sin from the first moment of her life, we ask for the faith to believe that God will cleanse us where we need to be cleansed, free us where we need to be free, and strengthen us where we need to be strong. Since this Feast, which is ordinarily on December 8, is transferred to Monday, December 9, the Second Sunday of Advent takes precedence. It is not an obligatory holyday, yet I invite everyone to participate in the Eucharist on Monday to celebrate Mary! Masses at St. Stephen Cathedral are at 7:00am and 12:05 noon.
III. Black Friday infringes on Thanksgiving Day: The one day of the year which seemed to be respected by the secular and sacred groups alike is now in jeopardy as consumerism and materialism erodes that special day. It is disappointing to me to see that many stores chose to weaken this traditional family holiday to seek a better “bottom line.” For years and years, we have gathered as family around the table, and for many, in church first to express thanks publicly, then later around tables in homes to say thanks and appreciate the gift of family. Many families include those who might be alone on this traditional Thanksgiving Day. Of course, we have a choice: we can all place a resounding vote with our feet by refusing to enter into this infringement upon family. I believe something sacred will be lost if Thanksgiving Day becomes Black Thursday.
IV. College Concert: Saint Stephen Cathedral is glad to host Owensboro Community and Technical College in their winter concert on Monday, December 9, at 7:30pm. What an opportunity we have to offer hospitality and welcome to others in our community!
V. Advent Reconciliation Service: Our traditional communal reconciliation service will be held on Sunday, December 22, at 2:00pm. As we prepare together by reflecting upon the Word of God, examining our conscience, praying our Act of Sorrow, asking for forgiveness, we hope to have at least 12 confessors available for individual confession of sin. Mark this on your calendar. Plan ahead. Prepare the way for the Lord! For what are you waiting? For WHOM are you waiting?
In Joy and Hope, Fr. Jerry