If your parish is like mine, Christmas Mass can be a bit crowded with most of the Masses standing-room-only and the parking situation about the same. So this Christmas, if you’re frustrated by crowded Masses, or packed parking lots, take a moment and pray for Catholics who long for the Eucharist. Our brothers and sisters for whom public celebration of our Holy Day makes them targets of additional persecution. May our Christmas prayers and wishes be with them.
There is a story that is unfolding before our eyes as we turn the pages of the daily readings for Mass. On December 17, even as Matthew holds forth the genealogy of Jesus, he reminded us, that it was of Mary that Jesus was born. The liturgies of December 18 and 19 pointed to the parallelism of the Angel’s announcements to Joseph and Zechariah. On December 20 we encounter the core of the Annunciation gospel which is connected with Isaiah’s prophecy about the Virgin’s child. Yesterday, the unfolding story is told in the meeting of the two pregnant holy women: Elizabeth and Mary. We listened to Elizabeth’s characterization of Mary: she, who trusted, is to be called blessed. In today’s gospel we hear Mary’s response, the canticle known to us as the Magnificat. Continue reading →