Presider: Fr. Matthew Widder
Parish: Holy Name of Jesus, St. Clement & St. Dominic
Choir: Cathedral Schola
TEXT FROM THE HOMILY
There's a classic Christmas song sung in 1943 for the first time by Bing Crosby I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me. I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me, I'll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me, written from the perspective of a soldier in WWII waiting to come home. And that last part I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams. As we draw deeper into this season of Advent, we look towards Christmas many times in our world, we're thinking of how are we going to get home for Christmas? College students right now are excited as they finish their final exams to get back home for Christmas. People from around the United States are saying, how can we get a flight or get a car that's going to get us home? We want to come home for Christmas, it's interesting because that theme of coming home echoes throughout our readings. From the book of the prophet Baruch what does Baruch write, he says up Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights look to east and see your children gathered from the east and the west they're coming home. They've been in Babylonia in the exile, they're coming home. They're returning home. And we hear in the gospel and even further during the first reading that sense of the mountains being made low, the valleys being filled in. In biblical times, Jerusalem was outside of a desert and so from the eastern side, coming in from Jerusalem, from the east, often times the paths would get overrun by the dirt, of the desert. The sand of the desert. They'd have to be cleaned for a king to come in many times the western route from Jerusalem was much more rugged, there's mountains and for someone to come in, they'd have to fill in those gorges. There'd have to be preparation done to welcome the captives home. As we draw deeper and we prepare for Christmas, we know that this sense of coming home isn't a physical sense as much as it is a spiritual sense. A spiritual sense of filling in those valleys and those mountains in our hearts to prepare a path for Jesus Christ. Saint Paul in the Philippians gives us a sense of how to do that. He says may your love abound and increase every day! And so we say where in our lives right now has love been blocked from increasing.? For those of us who live in the upper northern regions of the United States, there's an old saying that there's two seasons. There's winter and there's construction right? And it always seems like it's construction season. And do we ever when we're going through a construction zone and maybe our favorite road is closed or maybe a lane is closed, do we ever in our hearts say, "take as long as you want" you know, do we ever say that? Of course not! Or when we're driving behind someone who's running slow in traffic, do we say, just take your time. Of course not! We say speed up! So why in our own hearts, in those spots in our hearts where we've been blocked maybe there's unforgiveness that's been blocked; maybe it's a relationship with someone there's a block that's set up, why do we in those senses say "I'm just going to let that go" that's going to be a detour and a road closed my whole life! Whatever that is in our heart where love is being blocked from increasing that's where Jesus wants to welcome us back home. That's the road within our soul that Jesus wants to repair. So praise God for this great privilege of making a home within ourselves and in our communities for Jesus Christ.
Entrance: On Jordan’s Bank
Text: Jordanis oras praevia; Charles Coffin, 1676-1749; tr. by John chandler, 1806-1876, alt.
Tune: WINCHESTER NEW, LM; adapt. from Musikalisches Handbuch, Hamburg, 1690
Copyright © 2010 Brian McLinden
Psalm 126: The Lord Has Done Great Things for Us
C 2016, World Library Publications. All rights reserved.
Preparation: Comfort, Comfort Now My People
Copyright: Public Domain
Communion: Taste and See
© 2015 Michael J. Batcho. All rights reserved
Closing: People Look East
Text: Eleanor Farjeon, 1881-1965, © David Higham Assoc. Ltd.
Tune: BEASANҪON, 87 98 87; French carol; harm. by Martin Shaw, 1875-1958, © Oxford University Press
Mass of Creation
Contributors: Marty Haugen, ICEL
Tune: © 1984, 1985, 2010, GIA Publications, Inc.
Holy Cross Mass – Lamb of God
Contributors: David Clark Isele
Tune: © 1979, GIA Publications, Inc.
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