4th Sunday of Advent – Year B
St Joseph’s Passionist Church
Website : www.stjoeparis.org
Phone: 01. 42 27 28 56
Year of St Joseph: 8 Dec ‘20 – 8 Dec ‘21
Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on 150th Anniversary of Proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of Universal Church. [www.vatican.va]
A Year of St Joseph began on 8th Dec 2020 and concludes on 8th Dec. 2021. Prayer:
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Saint Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage and defend us from every evil. Amen. [Pope Francis]
Confessions for Christmas: Sat from 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. & 5-6 pm. 24th December: 11.30 am – 12.30 pm & 4 – 5 p.m.
Collections 13th Dec: Mass: € 1,218,95. ADP: €5,927; APP La Quête: € 30. Thanks for all of these contributions to St Joseph’s.
Feasts: 26th Dec: St Stephen, First Martyr. Sunday, 27th: Holy Family.
Curfew 20h, (except 24 Dec.): people after Evening Mass will need to go directly home. An earlier Mass or at a local church, or online are possibilities, if living far away.
CCD resumed online for Confirmation Candidates last Sunday and Holy Communion classes begin online 10 Jan. 2021. Parents of Confirmation Candidates and 1st Communion have met online. Donations for CCD books: by cheque or cash in an envelope marked ‘CCD’, and put in the collection bowl when leaving Mass. You can donate directly from www.stjoeparis.org (ADP) and send an email to the parish office to say it is your CCD donation. For French tax, 66% on your tax returns can be claimed for an ADP donation.
Last week I wrote to you as follows: “If you wish to join me thanking God for these 50 years, you might consider putting a simple gift for a child in the basket at St Joseph’s GIVING TREE. This would make me so happy that on Christmas morning, a child awakes to see a gift from you they never expected.”
Your amazing response shown in the number of gifts you left at the Giving Tree, leaves me speechless. This is the best way I can imagine to celebrate 50 years as a priest. I can only guess at children’s smiling faces on Christmas morning. Thanks to Gretchen and Fabrice. Gifts can still be left at the Giving Tree. Aidan
Christmas Mass Arrangements:
Please register for Mass at Christmas. If not registered it is not possible to attend. Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.
Christmas Eve Masses, Thursday 24 Dec:
8.30 a.m. Registration not required
5.30 pm. Mass [pre-registration needed]
7.30 pm. Mass [pre-registration needed]
10 p.m. Mass [pre-registration needed]
Christmas Day Mass, Friday, 25 Dec:
10.00 am Mass [pre-registration needed]
12 noon Mass [pre-registration needed]
Saturday, 26th December Mass Times:
11.00 am Mass [registration not needed]
6.30 pm Mass [pre-registration needed]
Sunday, 27th December Mass Times:
10.00 am.; 12.00 noon; 6.30 p.m. [pre- registration required for these Masses]
An Advent Reflection
It is difficult to absorb the news of God coming among us in such a humble and quiet way. God’s journey to earth began with a young girl in a humble Palestinian house being visited by the Angel Gabriel. Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God’s invitation made possible our salvation by the Incarnate Son of God. Mary became God’s partner in this covenant.
None of this took place with cameras rolling or guidance by a P.R. company. A faith-filled love relationship develops between God and Mary that paved the way for Jesus to save us.
Looking back this weekend over many years of seeing God working through people, it fills me with joy to know that the Annunciation to Mary does not end at the first Christmas. God still comes among people to change lives beyond our wildest dreams.
Over the past fifty years I look back in awe at having been present when God visits His people. It is humbling to be a witness to the tender love of God. It is seldom done directly; normally it is through people who are open, and faith filled as Mary.
Because often I can do so little for others, my temptation is to do nothing. I know that cannot be right. Listening to the Readings today, I learn that my life is made up of making small differences for others. I thank God for the good I see you doing for others.
I must not parade stories of what I have seen throughout my life. God’s working in people is sacred; we stand on holy ground. Miracles are worked daily among people which always leave me awe-filled, as at the first Christmas.
Jesus comes in many ways. A young couple one day came to St Joseph’s. She was pregnant. He did not know what to do. They were refugees. Sleeping on the streets, the young girl wanted to die. She could take no more. She was sad but had no tears left. If her life were to end, to die in a church as a place of sanctuary was her wish.
She listened as I said that St Joseph’s would help her and her baby. She dared to hope. Dedicated efforts in our parish office led to her baby being safely born a few days later. The baby was brought back to be baptized. Mary and Joseph still need a place for the birth of their child.
A temptation is to see Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as history. But they are still knocking on doors seeking a welcome. Doors still close in people’s faces as at the first Christmas. People continue to come in their need to St Joseph’s in the footsteps of Mary and Joseph.
Some are seeking a reason to go on living. At Holy Thursday Mass, your donations enable help to be given to those with nothing. A song wishes it could be Christmas every day; this comes true when hope is born by any goodness shown. Love for those in despair is a glimpse of God’s Love who lives among us, born daily in Jesus.
The happiest part of my many years as a priest is not in public events that are known, but in the faces of a young couple who beat despair; on the faces of children, as they receive Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion. Emmanuel, God-is-with us, is around us to be seen in traces of His footsteps.