My Jewish friends, while assuring me that they very much enjoy the Christmas season, do observe that never do they feel more “other” than during these days. It dawns on them, they continue, that a big chunk of the world is celebrating a feast, and they’re not.
In a way, we Christians also feel somewhat “other” these holy days of Advent. We take Advent seriously, which means we are in a time of preparation for Christmas, a grand feast we really do not begin to celebrate until Christmas Eve.
The following homily was delivered at this morning’s 10:15 am Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral:
Homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
God’s Holy Word, which we just heard, and the sermon that follows, are supposed to be good news.
Some days that’s tough to give, this good news and this is one of them, as we mourn the brutal and irrational execution of two young, promising and devoted police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu; as we tear-up thinking about their heartbroken families; as we are in solidarity with our police officers who experience a “death in the family;” as we…
December 15, 2014
You need a couple boosts to get you into the “Christmas spirit”? Try these two:
Saturday was “Santacon,” which, I’m told, means a lot of young adults dressing like Santa Claus and doing a “pub crawl” through Manhattan. From what I hear, it attracts a lot of people, some of whom imbibe a bit too much “Christmas cheer.”
But there were also a hundred or so young adults down at K-Mart at Astor Place, members of our Catholic Charities Junior Board, keeping a tradition called “St. Nicholas Shopping Spree.” They, too, have a lot of fun, but in a…
A blessed Advent!
I discussed it with folks visiting me over the weekend, right after Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the First Sunday of Advent.
It’s the yearly debate about Advent, and it goes something like this: The first person began, “Why do we start to celebrate Christmas so early? The decorations are up in early November; the carols begin before Thanksgiving; the tree goes up now . . . no wonder we’re sick of Christmas by December 26th!”
Another will chime-in, “Yeah, remember fifty years ago when we were kids? The tree would not go up until Christmas Eve; carols…
“Where will you have your Christmas?”
A common question this time of the year.
What’s it mean? Usually, the person asking is wondering where you’ll have Christmas dinner, or where you’ll be when the presents under the tree are opened.
But, for us as believers, the essence of Christmas is not the festive meal — as eagerly as I await that joyful experience! — or even where we’ll gather with family and friends to exchange presents. (I’m all for that, too!)
No. For us as Catholics, the heart of Christmas is the Mass! Even the name of the holiday — Christ-Mass — implies…