“Lord, let us see your kindness and grant us your salvation.”  (Ps 85:8)


     St Mark begins “…the Gospel of Jesus Christ” with the story of John, the herald of Jesus.  What a herald?  Good question!  A herald was an official messenger—often a royal messenger representing a king.  John proclaimed God’s message with great success that, “People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him.”  Yet, John also humbly proclaimed the “One mightier than I.”

     I’d like to think that the secret both of John’s success and of his humility had a lot to do with the fact that he saw himself through God’s eyes.  Seeing himself in this manner made John keenly aware of his own unworthiness.  Viewing his life from God’s perspective reminded John of God’s greatness and emboldened him to faithfully and fearlessly fulfill God’s purposes.  You and I are greatly flawed, but our mighty God invites us to be heralds of His love and grace.

     The Christmas schedule of Masses provided by our South Shore Parishes offer an interesting dilemma.  First of all, Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year.  The Masses on Christmas Eve morning are specifically for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  The Masses in the afternoon/evening/night are only for the Solemnity of Christmas.  Unlike some Protestant churches that offer worship services throughout the day on Christmas Eve, both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas are separate obligations for faithful Catholics to attend Mass.  

     Are you wondering why I’m writing this?  Well, someone has already asked me if going to Mass on Christmas Eve afternoon fulfills both the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas.  I almost always laugh at the absurdity of this question because I believe the person asking already knows the answer!  So, going to just one Mass will not satisfy both---for reasons I just explained in the previous paragraph.


In God’s Time,



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