Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 17
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Sunday Mass times will be as they were
Arriving at Sunday Mass
- Enter front doors. The side door will be locked
- Wear a mask as you enter the Church
- Both the inner and outer doors will be open
(Only for Sunday Masses)
- You can pick up a song sheet, which you will take
home with you after Mass
- Do not sit within 6 feet of somebody unless you
live with them
During Mass: Liturgy of the Word
- There will be no entrance procession. The priest and ministers will be seated before Mass
- If you need to read along during Mass, please bring your own missal or use a phone app
During Mass: Liturgy of the Eucharist
- There will be no offertory procession
- We will ask you to place your offering in the baskets as you leave or exit the Church
- The bread and wine will be in the sanctuary
- The sign of peace will continue to be touch-less unless you live with the person
- Communion will continue to be distributed only in the form of the Precious Body
- Receiving Communion in the mouth is now forbidden
- Masks need to be worn as you approach the altar to receive Communion
- There will only be one line approaching the altar for Communion
- People in rows on each side will alternate coming out into single row in center aisle
- Please keep social distancing by following the markers on the floor
- Those in side pews will continue the practice of coming across center pews maintaining social distance
- After the final blessing, please exit the church one row at a time
8:00AM, 10:00AM, 12:00PM
Monday through Friday:
First Saturday Mass
12:05 PM in the Church
(Except Christmas and Easter): 8:00 AM, 12:05 PM, 7:00 PM
Mass followed by Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Benediction every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm
Saturdays 1:00 - 2:00 PM
Experience God’s Mercy. Celebrate the Grace-Filled Sacrament of Reconciliation
Parish Center (Monday to Friday):
Rectory (By appointment only):
Religious Education (Sunday to Thursday):
Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention
For January 2021
May the Lord give us the grace to live in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions, praying for one another, open to all.
Pope Francis proclaims 'Year of St. Joseph
With the Apostolic letter 'Patris Corde' ('With A Father's Heart'), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a 'Year of St. Joseph' from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.
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St. Francis and the Christmas Creche
FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS
The story of the origin of the Christmas creche rests with the very holy man, St. Francis of Assisi.
In the year 1223, St. Francis, a deacon, was visiting the town of Grecio to celebrate Christmas. Grecio was a small town built on a mountainside overlooking a beautiful valley. The people had cultivated the fertile area with vineyards. St. Francis realized that the chapel of the Franciscan hermitage would be too small to hold the congregation for Midnight Mass. So he found a niche in the rock near the town square and set up the altar. However, this Midnight Mass would be very special, unlike any other Midnight Mass.
St. Bonaventure (d. 1274) in his Life of St. Francis of Assisi tells the story the best:
It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Grecio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, St. Francis determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff. Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God - St. Francis stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem. A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Grecio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvellously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms,
as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles which afterwards confirmed its truth. For example of Francis, if it be considered by the world, is doubtless sufficient to excite all hearts which are negligent in the faith of Christ; and the hay of that manger, being preserved by the people, miraculously cured all diseases of cattle, and many other pestilences; God thus in all things glorifying his servant, and witnessing to the great efficacy of his holy prayers by manifest prodigies and miracles.
Although the story is long old, the message is clear for us. Our own Nativity scenes which rest under our
Christmas trees are a visible reminder of that night when our Savior was born. May we never forget to see in
our hearts the little Babe of Bethlehem, who came to save us from sin. We must never forget that the wood of
the manger that held Him so securely would one day give way to the wood of the cross. May we too embrace
Him with all of our love as did St. Francis.
Also called Feast of the Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings’ Day, (from Greek epiphaneia, “manifestation”), Christian holiday commemorating the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi, and the manifestation of his divinity, as it occurred at his baptism in the Jordan River and at his first miracle, at Cana in Galilee. Epiphany is one of the three principal and oldest festival days of the Christian church (the other two are Easter and Christmas). Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other Western churches observe the feast on January 6, while some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany on January 19, since their Christmas Eve falls on January 6.
The festival originated in the Eastern church, where it at first included a commemoration of Christ’s birth. In Rome, by 354 Christ’s birth was being celebrated on December 25, and later in the 4th century the church in Rome began celebrating Epiphany on January 6. In the Western church the festival primarily commemorates the visit by the Magi to the infant Jesus, which is seen as evidence that Christ, the Jewish Messiah, came also for the salvation of Gentiles. In the East it primarily commemorates the baptism of Jesus and celebrates the revelation that the incarnate Christ was both fully God and fully man.
In the West the evening preceding Epiphany is called Twelfth Night. The time between December 25 and January 6 is known as the Twelve Days of Christmas. Epiphany is celebrated with special pastries in many countries, and children often receive small gifts in their shoes in honour of the Magi’s gifts to the infant Jesus. The holiday also has a number of traditions involving water as a reflection of Jesus’ baptism, including the blessing of houses with holy water.
Epiphany is a Christian holiday primarily commemorating the Magi’s visit to the baby Jesus and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Eastern traditions, which usually call the holiday Theophany, focus on Jesus’ baptism, seen as the manifestation of Christ as both fully human and fully divine. Western traditions focus on the Magi’s visit, seen as the first manifestation of Christ as saviour of Gentiles as well as Jews. Epiphany is among the church’s oldest and most important feasts.
Epiphany is observed on January 6 by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and Christians of other Western traditions. Eastern traditions that follow the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar celebrate Epiphany on January 19, since their Christmas Eve falls on January 6.
In many countries, Epiphany is celebrated with special pastries, and children often receive small gifts in their shoes in honour of the Magi’s gifts to the baby Jesus. In Eastern traditions, baptism is common during Epiphany, and houses may be blessed with holy water.
Epiphany originated in the Eastern church and at first included a celebration of Jesus’ birth. By 354 E Jesus’ birth was being celebrated in Rome on December 25, and later in the 4th century the church in Rome began celebrating Epiphany separately on January 6.
The name Epiphany comes from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning “appearance” or “manifestation,” and refers to the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the world. The holiday is also called the Feast of Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings’ Day.
Baptism of the Lord
Why do we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord?
This day commemorates the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. On this occasion, Jesus entered into His ministry and acquired His first disciples, St. John proclaimed Christ the Lamb of God, whose way he had prepared, and the Triune nature of the Godhead was manifested. The Church generally celebrates the Baptism of the Lord on the Sunday after January 6th. Thus, this year (2021) it is Sunday, January 10th.
What happened when Jesus was baptized?
We have accounts of Jesus’ Baptism in all three Synoptic Gospels.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”
"At Christmas we saw a weak baby, giving proof of our weakness. In today's feast, we see a perfect man, hinting at the perfect Son who proceeds from the all-perfect Father. At Christmas the King puts on the royal robe of his body; at Epiphany the very source enfolds, and, as it were, clothes the river. Come then and see new and astounding miracles: the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan, fire immersed in water, God sanctified by the ministry of man." - St. Proclus
Why did Jesus get baptized?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 536) teaches,
The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". Already he is anticipating the "baptism" of his bloody death. Already he is coming to "fulfill all righteousness", that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father's will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. The Father's voice responds to the Son's acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son. The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to "rest on him." Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened" - the heavens that Adam's sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.
Where did Jesus go after His Baptism?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 538-540) states,
The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after his baptism by John. Driven by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus remains there for forty days without eating; he lives among wild beasts, and angels minister to him. At the end of this time Satan tempts him three times, seeking to compromise his filial attitude toward God. Jesus rebuffs these attacks, which recapitulate the temptations of Adam in Paradise and of Israel in the desert, and the devil leaves him "until an opportune time."
The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesus fulfills Israel's vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during forty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as God's Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil's conqueror: he "binds the strong man" to take back his plunder. Jesus' victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, the supreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.
Jesus' temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him. This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning." By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
"Perhaps someone will say: ‘He who is holy, why did he wish to be baptized?’ Pay attention therefore! Christ is baptized, not that he may be sanctified in the waters, but that he himself may sanctify the waters, and by his own purification may purify those streams which he touches.” - St. Maximus of Turin