Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 31, 2017

Presentation of JesusThis is the Feast of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph seem an unlikely family in many ways. Yet, on this Sunday following Christmas, we reflect on the reality that God came to us in the midst of a family -- a group of people held together by grace and love; a group that experienced the rise and fall of relationships; a group of people bonded together for better or worse, by blood and marriage, by hope and endurance, by mercy and forgiveness, and, yes, by the enduring presence of God. We are that family now as we struggle to hold each other in love, finding in our struggles the revelation of God’s presence in our relationships that define us as the holy people of God.

  • Blessings of peace and hope this Christmas season! Jesus, born into a humble family, knows the struggle of being human and living in this world filled with wonder and woe. God comes to us - and promises to remain with us - always.
  • Don't forget to take some time to fully appreciate the simple joys of the season.
  • Don’t miss the ways Christ is coming anew into your heart and home...

The Sunday readings:

  • Gn 15:1-6, 21:1-3 - God promises Abram multitudinous descendants and keeps his promise; perhaps differently than Abram thought; only one son Isaac, not many children. But the promise is kept!
  • Heb 11: 8, 11-12, 17-19 - Paul reminds the Hebrews about God's promise to Abraham.
  • Lk 2:22-40 - Simeon has waited for the fulfilment of God's promise for his entire life and finally witnesses the Messiah at the Temple. His gratitude is immense. Further the aged holy widow Anna witnesses the presence of the Messiah in the Temple and rejoices at God's kept promise.

Of note:

  • Begin the New Year with prayer for peace, honoring Mary, the Mother of God. Join us for liturgy at 10:00 AM on January 1, 2018!
  • Our Epiphany Feast Days are January 6-7, 2018 . Be a part of our “art & environment”: wear red as an even more visible sign of being a manifestation of God in our times!
  • Large print and Bilingual Spanish/English participation sheet are available each weekend in the Narthex for weekend and holiday liturgies. See one of the Worship Greeters for assistance.
  • Gluten-free hosts (.001% wheat, approved by the American bishops) are available for those who cannot tolerate gluten. Please see Fr. Randy or Linda Thieneman to get details for regular use. Also, please note that all chalices used for distribution of communion are also gluten-free.
  • Experiencing difficulty hearing during liturgy? Pick up a personal sound receiver and ear piece or loop from the stands next to the chapel before mass, and adjust the volume as needed.
  • Usually at the end of a row scattered throughout the Worship Center there are chairs with arms for those needing that assistance to get in and out of a chair. Look for those with green fabric on the backs.