“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.” This is how today’s Gospel from Matthew begins. The Fourth Sunday of Advent, with the lighting of all four candles on the wreath, indicates that we are nearing the end of this season of preparation. Early in Advent the readings of scripture which the Church selects for the Mass stress the final coming of the Lord. Now, in the last days of Advent, the scripture readings point to His first coming at Bethlehem. The purpose of all this is to assist us in making our proper spiritual preparations. Amidst the many material concerns which can easily overwhelm us this time of year, the Church reminds us not to forget the spiritual. Even Mary and Joseph had some signifi- cant practical and material difficulties to overcome, as today’s Gospel testifies. But all those difficulties fade away and are replaced with the joy which accompanies the birth of Christ.
The Church celebrates with great joy the Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord. You will note the Christmas Mass schedule in this bulletin. Be assured that, with Deacon Jerry Ruesch and the staff, I will be praying for the people of Saints Peter & Paul during this Holy Season. May God grant you a Blessed Christmas and a Holy New Year!
Though the spiritual meaning of Christmas must always be preserved and emphasized, it doesn’t mean that this season must be serious or dour. The contrary is true! So, in a more playful spirit, I would like to pass on to you something I discovered a few years ago. It comes from a Norwegian cookbook. (Though of German descent, I grew up in a predominately Norwegian area.) Just in time for Christmas, here is the recipe for “The Best Fruitcake Ever”.
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
4 lg. Eggs
1 c. Dried fruit
1 tsp. Baking powder 1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Lemon juice 1 c. Brown sugar Nuts
1 to 2 qt. Whiskey
Before you start, sample the whiskey to check for quality. Good, isn’t it? Now go ahead, select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the whiskey again as it must be just right. To be sure the whiskey is of the highest quality, pour 1 level cup into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat. With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanwhile, to make sure that the whiskey is of the highest quality, cry another tup. Open second quart, if necessary. Add 2 orge leggs, 2 cups of fried druit and beat until high. If
druit gets stuck in beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the whiskey again, thecking for toneicisity, then sift 2 cups of salt or anything, it really doesn’t matter. Sample the whiskey. Sift 1⁄2 pint lemon juice. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts; add 1 babblespoon of brown thugar, or whatev- er color you can find and mix well. Grease oven and turn the cake pan to 350 degrees. Now pour the whole mess into the coven and ake. Check the whiskey again and bo to ged.
May God bless you! Fr. Schaller