News & Events
Back Fourth Sunday of Advent - Revised edition
Saturday, December 21, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
When Advent began we called it a season of Hope. This weekend, as we light the fourth candle on our Advent Wreath, we renew our sense of Hope and Expectation. The Biblical Theme that rings out for us in the Gospel of Matthew is the message of the Angel to Joseph: “Do not be afraid.” The Gospel of Matthew is written for prospective Jewish believers. Matthew the Evangelist in addition to relaying the stories of faith much like Mark and Luke, often shows how these actions of Jesus fulfill the words of many of the Messianic prophecies. Thus, he states: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." (Matthew 1:22-23).
The message “Do not be afraid” has to deal with the question of who is the father of Mary’s child. It is revealed to him, that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary has conceived. Joseph is called to hope that all things will work out for the best. So, Joseph cooperates with God’s plan.
In our parish community this Holy Season we too are called to cooperate with God’s plan. We rejoice with Fr. Daniel on his appointment as Pastor of All Saints Parish. We are filled with hope for him as he begins this new chapter of his priestly life as a Pastor and Shepherd of a flock. We rejoice with our Pastoral Associate Amy Vossen Vukelic as she responds in hope to further follow God’s call in her life. Just as Joseph didn’t have God’s whole plan mapped out for him but was called to live in Hope, we too here at Nativity rejoice with our two colleagues but have to surrender to hope and faith that God will make a way for us. In this “Hope” we surrender to God’s will and with great expectation wait on God’s gift that will be born among us. Nativity Parish is called to live in the same Advent Hope that we celebrate with the Holy Family. Even our name speaks of new birth: Nativity.
I’ll close this column with a brief story about hope.
The Story of the 4 Candles. (Author Unknown) “The Four Candles burned slowly. Their ambiance was so soft you
could hear them speak... The first candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit." Then Peace's flame slowly diminished and went out completely. The second candle said, "I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable." Then Faith's flame slowly diminished and went out completely. Sadly, the third candle spoke, "I Am Love and I haven't the strength to stay lit any longer. People put me aside and don't understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them." And waiting no longer, Love went out completely. Suddenly ... A child entered the room and saw the three candles no longer burning. The child began to cry, "Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end." Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to child, "Don't be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles." With shining eyes, the child took the Candle of Hope and lit the other three candles. Never let the Flame of Hope go out. With Hope in your life, no matter how bad things may be, Peace, Faith and Love may shine brightly once again.”
WELCOME GUEST During our Christmas holidays we welcome Fr. Richard Oduor, a Kenyan who was ordained a priest last year for the Diocese of Torit in South Sudan and who is studying in Rome. He is here to meet with the ROTA: Reaching Out 2 Africa Board and others who have supported him throughout his seminary and even now in his studies in Rome. Welcome Fr. Richard.