Christmas is More Than a Day!

12-25-2021From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I had to write this about a week before Christmas, so I can’t tell you how mine went! Instead, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Christmas Season.

As Catholics we believe that some things are so wonderful that it takes a lot more than a day to celebrate them. Christmas is certainly one of those things! That’s why, as Catholics, we celebrate Christmas for a season which began at Mass on Christmas Eve and will continue through the Feast ofthe Lord’s Baptism on the Sunday after Epiphany (January 9). While the rest of the world often takes down decorations the day after Christmas, we continue celebrating the birth of our Lord for nearly three weeks! Keeping your trees up and homes decorated is one way to celebrate this season of joy.

The Christmas Season is filled with holy days that celebrate the various events and people of the Christmas story. Today is theFeastoftheHolyFamily. Itisadaytorememberthat Jesus chose to enter this world by being born into a human family. In so doing, our Savior showed just how much He thinksoffamilylife. Jesusthinkssohighlyoffamilies,that He chose to be part of one.

Today is also a day to think about our own family. It’s a day to thank God for the people we love, and to think about how we might strengthen our own family life. For some, that might mean spending more time with children. Others might ask how they might be more considerate of their wives or husbands. Still others might think about how they can show appreciation for their parents or grandparents, or how they might assist them in their old age.

On New Year’s Day we celebrate the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. It is a special time to honor Mary, the great woman of the Christmas story. Mass will be offered at 4:30pm on New Year’s Eve and at 8:00am, and 11:00am on New Year’s Day. Let’s all be sure to start the New Year right with Jesus and His holy Mother.

On New Year’s Eve Deacon Enock will lead a Holy Hour in the Church at 11:00pm. It will be a time of prayer and adoration. Fr Gilbert and I will hear Confessions for those who want to start the New Year with their souls washed clean by God’s grace. Participating in this a vigil would likewise be agreat way to welcome the New Year and thank God for it.

As the New Year begins, let’s renew our prayers for each other. I appreciate that so many of you not only say a daily Hail Mary for me, but also pray for our parish, for the sick and poor, for the service men and women of our parish, and for peace.

Happy New Year!
Fr. John

P.S. Next week I’ll speak about the next great Feast of the Christmas Season, Epiphany.