Holy Cross Catholic Church

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Fourth Sunday in Advent - December 20, 2020

Dear friends,

Have you ever been surprised by a greeting, especially an unexpected one or from an unknown person? There always are mixed feelings: either we are anxious and suspicious, or we are enlightened. Today we are taken on a journey of the unexpected greeting that holds an amazing and life changing blessing. Like a normal human being, Mary was troubled and pondered about the meaning of the greeting. Yet, she let it happen; she gave back the attention to the greeter and the message was breathtaking: God chose her as a special cooperator in the work of salvation.

Christmas is at the door, and we can sometimes be over busy in such a way that we can ignore or miss to acknowledge a greeting or a discrete smile. More than the busyness of the season, we are in the world that increases suspicion towards any unknown individuals, or especially at this politically very polarized time in our country to ignore and or avoid everyone who does not share one’s idea. While one should be cautious about who they interact with, today’s scene of the Annunciation invites us to be more mindful of what is going on around us. A small smile, a greeting returned with kindness and attention could be a life changing situation either for the person we encounter or for ourselves.

The joy of the Annunciation that we started celebrating last Sunday – the Gaudete Sunday – continues to invite us to turn towards one another and share the good news of the imminent coming of the Lord. Like Mary, who went to visit her cousin Elizabeth following the encounter with the Gabriel, bringing and sharing the joy that flows from the good news with both Elizabeth and John in his mother’s womb, we are sent today to announce the imminent coming of the Lord who is knocking at the door to wipe away our tears of hopelessness and despair, our tears of suspicion and alienation from one another. Jesus we are sent to announce brings us the joy that brings us together as children of God and coworkers for the advent of a more loving and embracing world.

As we leave this holy place after being fed by Christ himself with his words and his Body, let us make ours the resolve of bringing joy to everyone who will happen to have the blessing to encounter us or to be around us through our attention towards them, our concern for them and our determination to put a smile on their faces. And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.

Fr. Emery


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