In the opening antiphon (or entrance antiphon) of the Mass for the 4th Sunday of Advent, we read these words… “Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.” This imagery of the Messiah coming among us, being born among us, and taking his place on earth, sounds almost as though he were a plant or rainwater! The reference to the “Just One” refers to Jesus as the infant king soon to be born; yet this opening antiphon makes it sound like the newborn king will rain down from the clouds. Or the second part of this antiphon, “let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior” (some translations read let the earth bud forth a Savior) makes it sound like Jesus is a flower poking his way out of the ground. What exactly does this mean?
These words actually reflect the humble, almost secret birth of Christ Jesus at Bethlehem. He was born in a manger among animals, not on fine silk pillows in a warm, luxurious palace, filled with servants. He was born in the quietness and gentleness of that Bethlehem night, and although the magi followed a star and the shepherds beheld a choir of angels, there was peace and calm amongst Mary, Joseph, and the newborn Savior. Isn’t this also how the dew comes down, out of the clouds, and covers the earth? In gentleness and calm. Isn’t this how flowers and plants spring forth from the soil? Slowly, gently, and peacefully over time.
In the same way, we might also realize that Christ our Lord often comes to us in the peaceful, gentle moments of life…without fanfare and trumpets. His coming to us when we need Him most can happen unexpectedly and gently, and maybe we don’t even realize He has come. It can happen when we least expect it, or even when we don’t even notice it…exactly how we don’t notice when the dew covers the earth, or when the first flowers begin to bud forth from the soil.
Advent Penance Service: Our annual Advent Penance Service will occur on Monday, December 20th at 7pm in the main church. Please join us for the sacrament of Reconciliation, so that your heart and soul will be cleansed and made new with the healing words of absolution. Let us prepare our hearts and souls to be a worthy dwelling place for the coming Infant King!
CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE: Please take note! Our Christmas Masses will be at different times than our usually scheduled weekend and holyday Masses.
CHRISTMAS EVE (FRIDAY, DEC. 24TH) … 4:00 PM & 8:00 PM
CHRISTMAS DAY (SATURDAY, DEC. 25TH) … 10:00 AM
~Fr. Martin Gallagher