Pastor's Letter - December 24, 2017

The first reading for the Mass of the Fourth Sunday of Advent (from the second book of Samuel) records the conversation between King David and (through the prophet Nathan) God. David, having firmly established his reign, now decides that he should build a house (Temple) suitable for the Ark of the Covenant. The prophet conveys to David God’s message that He (God) will instead establish a house for David. This use of the word “house” refers to the royal line of succession - like the “House of Windsor” in the British Monarchy. God promises David that “your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me.” (2 Samuel 7:16) This promise - made nearly a thousand years before the birth of Christ - is fulfilled in the account recorded in today’s Gospel. God, speak- ing through His messenger, the angel Gabriel, announces that Mary is to bear a son. “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father....” (Luke 1:32)

The Church marks the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord with four Masses: Christmas Vigil Mass, Mass at Midnight, Mass at Dawn, and Mass during the Day. (Just check the Lumen Christi Missal and you will see the different antiphons and Scripture readings for each Mass.) And we will celebrate three here at Saints Peter & Paul: 4:30pm Vigil, Mass at Midnight, and Christmas Day at 10:00am. Traditionally, many Catholics would attend two (or more!) of these Christmas Masses. I have fond memories from my childhood of attending Mid- night Mass with my family, and then again on Christmas day. Though there is no requirement to do so, I would still encourage you to attend the Christmas Day 10:00am Mass even if you attended Mass during the previous eve. You may want to foster (or renew) this beautiful custom with your family.

Be assured that, with Deacon Jerry Ruesch and all the staff, I will be praying for all the people of SS Peter & Paul Church during this Holy Season. May God grant you a Blessed Christmas and a Holy New Year!

May God bless you!
Fr. Schaller