We have our last practice for the children's choir this morning. Monica and I expect the number to double from last week. It usually does. That's why we tend to use the same music from year to year for the early mass on Christmas Eve.
I was pondering this whole "Happy Holiday" vs "Merry Christmas" thing the other day. I remember growing up seeing "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" and not thinking anything about it. We did take offense at X-mas instead of Christmas. Here's my take on things. If someone is kind enough to offer a greeting of any kind - let's not use it as an excuse to divide. When someone wishes me "Happy Holidays" I respond with "Merry Christmas" that's where I am. At this time of year, so many people are stressed to the max. Let's take a minute to think about what may be going on in someone else's life. Maybe this year Christmas isn't Merry for them. I'm thinking at the moment of a family who lost their daughter last week. Let's not be so quick to judge someone's heart. I am not for censorship or thought control. People should be free to celebrate the season in whatever manner they choose. As I walk through the stores I am apt to think that "Happy Holidays" is preferable to some of the other epithets I hear. All I ask is that you not take offense at my manger and I won't get jazzed about your symbols of the season. That's what America is supposed to be about, right? Let's not get so wrapped up in second guessing someone else's intentions. Let's just enjoy the season in our own way and be a loving example to others.
Word of the day:
Today the Church celebrates : Bl. Urban V, St. Nemesion, Martyr
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:5-25.
In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years. Once when he was serving as priest in his division's turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of (the) Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother's womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord." Then Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel said to him in reply, "I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time." Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute. Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home. After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.
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