Sunday, December 19th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
We are less than a week away from Christmas Day. Our Blessed Mother takes center stage on this fourth Sunday of Advent, and fittingly so, as we draw near to the celebration of her Son’s birth. After our Lord Himself, Mary is our model and guide to living our lives as intentional disciples of her son Jesus Christ.
The Gospel passage from Luke this weekend describes Mary’s actions immediately after her “yes” to the angel Gabriel’s message. “Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah… and greeted Elizabeth.” Mary immediately began to think of others before herself, setting out quickly to be with her cousin, modeling two of the pillars of a welcoming community of faith that Saint Joachim Church strives to be – demonstrating hospitality to all and being of service to those in need.
What warmth and humility the mother of our Savior showed, traveling to see Elizabeth in the hill country of Judea, seeking to spend time with her, rejoicing with Elizabeth over her own incredible pregnancy, and assisting her in a time of need to prepare for the birth of John the Baptist. And what joy Mary’s hospitality and service brought to Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah.
Our Blessed Mother’s example of committed intentional discipleship is one that we, her children, can follow in our own lives today. With all the gifts God gives us — our time, our talents, our material possessions — we, too, can offer ourselves to God by using these gifts to serve and glorify Him. As Jesus said, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” (Matthew 10:8). In so doing, we will effectively spread the Good News of the Gospel to the world around us today. When we do this will be sons and daughters after our heavenly Mother’s own heart.
The parish has a long overdue project that we are finally tackling – the restroom project. Before the project is completed, we are mandated to have it paid for. So far, we are doing pretty good. The estimated final cost of the project is $600,000 and so far, we have raised $502,994.89. For that reason, we are taking a second collection at each Sunday Mass to order to reach our reach goal.
In the final weeks of 2021, please consider donating to Saint Joachim Church as an end of the year tax deductible gift. Your contribution will help us fund the Church restroom project. You can donate at www.faith.direct/ca1091 or drop it off in the parish office.