28 December 2023

Renovation Update

That wall behind the crucifix was supposed to be finished on Dec 23rd. Didn't happen. But they are almost done. 

The acoustics in the chapel are MUCH better with the tile floors. We actually sound good singing the Office. The choirs stalls will make it even better!

Consider helping us out. We need about $90,000. We have around $8,000 with pledges for more to come in the next few weeks. 

We're looking into putting name plates on the stalls for donors. 

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25 December 2023

Becoming the Christ Child

Nativity of the Lord (Day)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP
St. Albert the Great, Irving

On “the Twenty-fifth Day of December...in the 149th Olympiad; in the year 752 since the foundation of the City of Rome; in the 42nd year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus, the whole world being at peace, Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father...was conceived by the Holy Spirit...born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man...” On that same day in the same year, in virtue of Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection, you and I were given – freely given – the gift of our salvation: to become Christs in the flesh, to be made sons of God, heirs to the Kingdom; priests, prophets, and kings to bear witness to His glory in the world. We are rescued, healed, ransomed, adopted, and saved. But by far the greater gift, the greatest grace is our freedom to become Him whom we love – the Son born of Mary in Bethlehem. That son, her son, the Son of God. The Son of God and the Son of Man, the Savior, the Messiah. His name is Christ Jesus, the one sent to save us from sin and death by offering us a share in his divine nature, participation in the divine love that is the Blessed Trinity. This gift of eternal life came wrapped in the flesh of a child born in a stable, adored by shepherds and kings alike.

It is beyond strange – maybe even scandalous – that God chose to offer us a share in His divine life by taking on our human nature. He tried other ways – ritual sacrifice, the Law, the prophets – but none of these served His purpose fully: to bring us into a fundamental intimacy with Him. Human obstinance, vanity, pride, and an inordinate love of worldly things always kept us just far enough away to lose sight of our end. Maybe His older ways of saving us from ourselves were too literal, or maybe they were too difficult. Whatever the reason, we failed. Again and again, we wandered away from the covenant, finding ourselves lost in the wildernesses of the world. He used the nations to chastise us when we strayed. And He used us to show the nations His glory. Finally, at the appointed time, He took it upon Himself to fulfill the terms of the covenant that we ourselves could not or would not fulfill. The Christ Child in the stable in Bethlehem is His final means of bringing us into the Holy Family, of enticing us back into the intimacy of divine love. What the Law and the Prophets did not achieve, the infant Jesus commenced in the manger and the Christ completed on the Cross.

For 2,023 years the Church has marked the Incarnation as that singular moment in human history when the Son of God came to us like us and offered us the possibility of becoming perfectly human. From the year “752 since the foundation of the City of Rome; in the 42nd year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,” all of humanity, every single human person, received and receives an invitation from their Creator to become Christ. To live and die as a witness to the Word of liberation from sin and death. To minister to those in need of hearing His Word spoken and to see His Word lived out. Each one of us is granted – by the Incarnation – a chance to not only grow in holiness but to become the means of salvation for another. Christmas is Santa Claus, presents, decorated trees, and glazed hams. But more fundamentally, Christmas is a renewal of our Yes to the Father's invitation to be a child of Christ, to become a Christ Child. “What came to be through [the Word] was life, and this life was the light of the human race.” Remember: you've said Yes. You are that light that shines in the darkness.   

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