+ Parish Schedule for the Week of December 3, 2017 +
Sunday, December 3 [First Sunday of Advent]:
8:00 am – Health & Blessings for Bishops, Priests & Deacons of the Diocese
10:30 am + Stephen Wilt – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Monday, December 4 [St. John Damascene]:
8:00 am – Benefactors of Martha Wilt McDaniel – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Tuesday, December 5 [St. Camillus and St. Peregrine Novena]:
5:30 pm + Frank Malley – int. Daughter, Susan Malley
Wednesday, December 6 [St. Jude Novena/St. Nicholas]:
5:30 pm + Margaret Piasecki – int. Dorothy Kosewicz
Thursday, December 7 [St. Ambrose]:
*5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Paul Edwards – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
Friday, December 8 [The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary]:
*Holy Day of Obligation*
*8:00 am + John Lambert – int. Jacques Family
*5:30 pm – Health & Blessings for Sr. Agnes Loretta of Our Lady Queen of Peace – int. Pelc Family
Saturday, December 9 [St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin]:
8:00 am – Special intention for Betty Fritz – int. Ron & Monica Scherman
4:00 pm + Joanne Klepadlo Murphey – int. Family
6:00 pm (Spanish) – For our Parish and Parishioners
Sunday, December 10 [Second Sunday of Advent]:
8:00 am – Grace & Blessings for Jill Rose-Fish – int. Betty Fritz
10:30 am + Richard M. Conway – int. Wife, Carole Conway
+ KRÓLOWO POLSKI MÓDL SIĘ ZA NAMI +
PLEASE NOTE! This weekend, December 2nd and 3rd, will be our first weekend with the new Ignatius Pew Missal, published by Ignatius Press and the Augustine Institute. Please note that they are set-up slightly differently than our old missalettes, and are designed to last a whole year—please treat them with care!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4th is the Feast of St. John Damascene, the last of the Greek Fathers who defended the veneration of images, composed hymns and preached many sermons in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He suffered greatly for his defense of Church doctrine and he will be remembered in the Mass at 5:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6th is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Polish children do not have a “Santa Claus,” but they do have Święty Mikołaj – St. Nicholas! St. Nicholas, however, does not simply fill stockings and hand out gifts and goodies! St. Nicholas dressed as the Holy Bishop that he is, visits the homes of Polish children. He comes riding on a great white horse or sometimes in a fine coach pulled by six white horses. At his side is a little angel with two large bags and an old broom. One bag has fine gifts and the other sticks and stones. As the Holy Saint enters the cottage everyone rises and politely greets him with “Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!” (Praised be Jesus Christ!) The Saint reverently answers “Na wieki wieków. Amen!” (Forever and ever. Amen!) Then the children line up. St. Nicholas then questions the children on their catechism and their behavior. If the answers are satisfactory a gift from the first bag – but if not – a stone from the second bag and a spanking with the old broom!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7th is the Feast of St. Ambrose, a model Pastor, untiring preacher, and defender of orthodoxy. He wrote many Liturgical hymns and is listed as one of the four Doctors of the Latin Church.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and a Holy Day of Obligation, in which we celebrate the purity of Mary as the Mother of God. The Masses for the Holy Day will be Thursday, December 7th at 5:30 p.m. and Friday, December 8th at 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Mary, under the title of Immaculate Conception, is also the patroness of our country and special prayers will be offered at the Masses for our nation
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th is the Feast of St. Juan Diego. In 1531 our Lady (of Guadalupe) appeared four times to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, near Mexico City. Known for his holiness, he devoted himself, tradition says, to the pilgrims who came to see the miraculous image of the Virgin imprinted on his cloak. He will be remembered in the Mass at 8:00 a.m.
The First Sunday of Advent
The blessing of the Advent Wreath and the lighting of the first candle will take place at all the weekend Masses; Saturday, December 2nd at 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 3rd at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The Advent Wreath symbolizes the children of Israel waiting for the Messiah through the centuries as well as our own spiritual preparation to welcome the Christ Child, the Holy Messiah on Christmas morning. The Advent Wreath is a set of four candles set in a wreath of evergreen. The evergreen, sometimes richly decorated, symbolizes the beauty of Christian hope in the loving promises of God. The perfect circle of the wreath represents the eternity of God. The four candles mark the four Sundays of Advent which immediately precede Christmas. One of the candles is lit on each Sunday of Advent until by Christmas all the candles are lit! Three of the candles are violet colored reflecting the penitential spirit of the Advent season. One candle is rose colored reflecting the joy of the Gospel on the Third Sunday of Advent. The four candles represent, not only the four weeks of Advent when we wait for the coming of the anniversary of the birth of Christ on Christmas Day, but of the four thousand years that the Jews waited for the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. It also reminds us that we are now waiting for Jesus to come again. . . at the end of the world!
The candles of the Advent Wreath are given the following names:
1. The PROPHECY CANDLE, a reminder of the foretelling of Jesus’ birth by the Old Testament prophets.
2. The BETHLEHEM CANDLE, recalling the words of the Prophet Micah that the Christ Child would be born in Bethlehem.
3. The SHEPHERDS’ CANDLE, a reminder of the first people to worship the baby Jesus. This is the rose colored candle and reflects the anticipated joy of the Gospel for this Sunday.
4. The ANGELS’ CANDLE lit on the Sunday before Christmas in remembrance of the Angel who spoke to the Virgin Mary at the conception of Jesus and of the Angels who appeared to the shepherds in the fields outside Bethlehem that first Christmas Eve.
THERE WILL BE NO CATECHISM CLASSES because of the Christmas holiday, on the following dates: Sunday, December 24th and Sunday, December 31st. Classes WILL RESUME Sunday, January 7th. Because the Faith of our children is so important this and Easter Sunday are the only vacations our catechism classes ever have!
GUESS WHO’S COMING! St. Nicholas, of course! The CCD annual St. Nicholas Party will be after the 4:00 Mass on Saturday, December 9th. This party is for all children, preschoolers through 6th grade. Highlights of this special evening are: the Infant of Prague Novena with the Blessing of the children and the Offering of Vigil Lights during Mass, Ed Popielarczyk, the Magician, back for another side-splitting display of his magic skills, supper and carols, plus the arrival of St. Nicholas with gifts for all. Please sign up in the church vestibule, or call Joanne Dowdy 498-0241. (All children are asked to bring a plate of Christmas cookies and a $3.00 fun gift to share.) This is a special evening for our children. Be sure to include it in your Advent schedule!
IN HONOR OF THE INFANT OF PRAGUE we will have the special rite of the Blessing of Children in our parish on Saturday, December 9th. All parents are encouraged to bring their children and infants to the 4:00 p.m. Mass for this special blessing.
THE WEEKLY ST. JUDE NOVENA will be prayed at the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Wednesday, November 23rd. This is a continuing Novena that may be begun at any time. All are welcome to come and pray for the intercession of St. Jude, the patron of desperate cases.
THE WEEKLY PRO-LIFE NOVENA will be offered before the 8:00 a.m. Mass on Saturday, November 11th. Please come and beg God for an end to this terrifying evil which is destroying our nation!
COMMUNITY MEALS – Our final Community Meal in 2017 will be on Wednesday, December 6. We are responsible for the main meal, breads, beverages and dessert and a small group of volunteers to help serve the meal, which takes place at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield. There is a sign-up sheet in the front vestibule with aluminum pans for your convenience for our dinner. Please contact Cathy Becklo at 413-863-2267 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information or have any questions. Thank you for all the wonderful effort that keeps this program running so beautifully!
OUR LADY’S HOLY ICON will visit the home of Terry Dempsey for a week of prayer and petition for the needs of our Parish. We thank you for this holy work of power and love.
The Rectory Open House
All Parishioners and Friends are cordially invited to the Rectory Open House on Sunday, December 17th
from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
All are welcome to come any time during the day to share in refreshments, good wishes and Holiday Fellowship.
THE OPŁATEK IS NOW AVAILABLE in the front church Vestibule. The Opłatek is the Polish Bread-of-Love for Christmas Eve. It symbolizes days of harmony, when what is to be forgiven is forgiven and what is to be forgotten is forgotten. The sharing of the Opłatek signifies that everyone in the universe is related…we are all God’s holy children…. we all have His Divine power to love!
The Opłatek, that Bread-of-Love, so frail and perishable, has for all Poles a mystical meaning which can not be explained. At Christmas time it is even sent to absent members of the family and to close friends separated by distance, to draw them close in a spiritual union with their loved ones. To receive a piece of Opłatek is a special blessing. It says that the recipient is loved in a holy way and that the choicest blessings are prayed over them and for them!
At the Wigilia (Christmas Eve Supper), the rite of sharing and breaking the Opłatek is both simple and moving. The host and hostess first share the Opłatek with each other and then with all the members of their family and guests. With the breaking, good wishes, blessings and prayers are exchanged and shared. It is a time of spiritual gift-giving. Sometimes the blessings take the form of spontaneous poetry, but this is often an art reserved to the elderly.
A piece of the Opłatek is often saved after Christmas to use in time of sickness as a sacramental-prayer. It is administered to the ill as a blessing-prayer for healing and it is a strong affirmation of the love of family and friends.
If you have forgotten this beautiful old custom in your family, why not revive it again this year and if you have never practiced this tradition of love, why not try it this year? Each envelope with the Opłatek has a short explanation of the tradition and a prayer that may be used on Christmas Eve.
THE FOLLOWING MASS INTENTIONS have been sent to various Missionaries. They will be offered as follows and you may attend the Masses here in our church as the Missionaries offer the Masses in their churches:
Sunday, December 3: 8:00 – Health & Blessings for Fr. Charles DiMascola
– int. Nancy Faller
Sunday, December 3: 10:30 + Margaret Mattews – int. Nancy Faller
Monday, December 4: 8:00 – Rev. Mr. Matthew Christopher Morelli ~ Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Tuesday, December 5: 5:30 + Mary R. DiMascola – int. Son
Wednesday, December 6: 5:30 – Fr. Sean O’Mannion – int. Nancy Faller
Thursday, December 7: 5:30 – Rev. Mr. Francis Philip Omondi, MSC ~ Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Friday, December 8: 8:00 – Rev. Mr. Peter Nguyen Quach ~ Ordination to the ` Transitional Diaconate – int. Nancy Faller
Friday, December 8: 5:30 + Palma Catherine Ferrari – int. Nancy Faller
Saturday, December 9: 8:00 + George B. * Ursula E. Faller – int. Nancy Faller
Saturday, December 9: 4:00 + Therese Haus – int. Nancy Faller
PLEASE NOTE: The above Masses not only assist the souls for whom they are offered, but they also help the Missionaries who often times receive very little help. It also helps the people where the Masses are offered. Bóg wam zapłać!
CHURCH CHOIRS: The St. Cecilia Choir and Choristers, which sings at the Sunday 10:30 Mass and other special services, is always seeking additional singers of any experience. We rehearse every Sunday in the choir loft following the 10:30 Mass, from 11:30 – 1:00. For information, please see Henry Gaida or e-mail email@example.com.
The Saint Gregory Choir: So you didn’t take Latin in school? Most of us didn’t either! So you don’t read music? Many of us are still learning the basics! So you’re busy? So are we! Who are we? We call ourselves the St. Gregory Choir; we’re folk like you who like to sing to God’s greater glory. The music we sing is sophisticated, but we aren’t, and we need you. Don’t let flimsy excuses keep you from singing some of civilization’s greatest music–the Church’s vast treasury of chants, hymns, and polyphony (a fancy name for four part pieces). We rehearse for seventy-five minutes after Friday Mass and twenty minutes before the Sunday first Mass. Come give it a try. No auditions, no experience necessary, and no solos the first twelve months. We promise! We sing at the 8:00 Sunday morning Mass. For more information, call Robert Heath at 772-8738.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord,
And Let Your Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.
Catherine Kozik 12/3/1929
Joseph Bukowski 12/3/1940
Waclaus Piotrowicz 12/3/1949
Aniela Siciak 12/3/1953
Victoria A. Zabko 12/3/2010
Peter Zajac 12/4/1927
Blanche G. Denkewicz 12/4/1994
Marion Hmieleski 12/4/2009
Ralph V. Fronckus, Sr. 12/4/2016
Walter A. Kowalezyk 12/5/1985
Harlen E. Thomas 12/5/1998
Richard M. Conway 12/5/1999
Mary B. K. Croteau 12/5/2002
Genevieve J. Niedzwiecki 12/5/2004
Helen M. Prondecki 12/5/2011
Helen E. Puchalski 12/5/2013
Ralph Fronkus 12/6/1934
Frances Zamojski 12/6/1956
Florence M. Kortz 12/6/2000
Randall G. Senn 12/6/2003
Edalia “Dolly” Marszalek 12/6/2006
Stanislava Zurko 12/7/1935
Piotr Noga 12/7/1952
Anthony Nowak 12/7/1958
Sophie S. Duda 12/7/1988
Mary H. Zewinski 12/7/1995
Edmund R. Dunican 12/7/2002
Charles J. Gibowicz, Jr. 12/7/2007
Chester J. Osowski 12/8/1988
Gaetana I. Eichorn 12/8/1989
Jennie F. Monkiewicz 12/8/1991
Sigmund Molongoski 12/8/2002
Edwin Nowak 12/9/1925
Apolonia Zorzuski 12/9/1945
Josefa Kuczewski 12/9/1968
Remember the Holy Souls in Your Prayers
HOLY HOUR AND MINI RETREAT – Join us before the Blessed Sacrament for the Holy Hour and Mini Retreat of the Guard of Honor of the Sacred Heart. The Holy Hour is every Thursday and the Mini Retreat is the last Thursday of every month in our church following the 5:30 p.m. Mass, from 6:16 – 7:15 p.m. with our Pastor, Fr. Seán O’Mannion, National Director of the Guard of Honor – USA.
THE TERESIANS ARE STILL LOOKING for a few good men, women, or families willing to join us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Out latest project is collecting “toiletries” from hotels. These will be offered at the OLC community meals. There is a marked container in the vestibule. Do NOT buy them. If you want to buy something, consider groceries for distribution from the rectory. Nancy Faller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DID YOU KNOW? Krąków’s Jagiellonian University was established by King Casimir III the Great in 1364 and is the oldest university in Poland and second oldest in Central Europe.
PRAY FOR VOCATIONS to the Priesthood from our Parish and for our Parish so that we might always have a Priest here to celebrate the Mass and administer the Holy Sacraments! Please join in the Divine Mercy Chaplet to pray for vocations to the priesthood every Friday beginning at 4:45 p.m.
COFFEE HOUR – For those of you are waiting for your children during C.C.D. classes – and for anyone else who can join us for that matter – there will be a Coffee Hour at the Rectory following 8:00 Mass (from 9:00 – 10:00). Please come by for a cup of coffee, some home made baked goods, and friendly company. Please use the side door of the Rectory.
PLEASE NOTE that every day of the month is set aside to pray for a specific priest or deacon of Franklin County. Please join in dedicating every day to one of the clergymen designated in our calendar. The intentions for this week are:
Sunday Fr. Lisowski
Monday Fr. Reardon
Tuesday Deacon Rabbitt
Wednesday Deacon Culliton
Thursday Msgr. Yargeau
Friday Deacon Leary
Saturday Fr. Roach
TWO PILGRIMAGES TO WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – The World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26, 2018. Two great pilgrimages (8 or 12 day) are planned which include daily Mass and visits to numerous shrines (Knock, St. Peter, Nat’l. Shrine to St. Oliver Plunkett, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Valentine, Venerable Matt Talbot, Tomb of Venerable John Sullivan, depending on which pilgrimage you choose) and many places of interest. For more information contact Grand View Tours at (610-361-7979), visit http://www.catholicsindublin.com, or contact Fr. Jonathan Reardon at Holy Family Parish in So. Deerfield (665-3254).
CATHOLIC CRUISE TROPICAL CARIBBEAN – Come and sail away on a 7 night tropical Caribbean cruise with Fr. John Harper, Dec. 31-Jan. 7, 2018 on Holland America’s Eurodam out of Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades)), Florida Ports of Call: Key West, Florida, Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos, Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic, Half Moon Bay, Bahamas (Cruiseline Private Island). Prices begin at $3,168 for two passengers which includes all port fees and taxes. Daily Mass offered. Deposits of only $350 per person will reserve your cabin. Space is limited. For further information or to register, contact Doug or Eileen at 860-399-1785 or Doug@CatholicCruisesandTours.com.
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Hail Mary, Conceived Without Sin
Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” First John 1:8 adds, “If any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him.” These texts could not be clearer for millions of Protestants: “How could anyone believe Mary was free from all sin in light of these Scripture passages? What’s more, Mary herself said, ‘My soul rejoices in God my savior’ in Luke 1:47. She clearly understood herself to be a sinner if she admits to needing a savior.”
The Catholic Answer
Not a few Protestants are surprised to discover the Catholic Church actually agrees that Mary was “saved.” Indeed, Mary needed a savior! However, Mary was “saved” from sin in a most sublime manner. She was given the grace to be “saved” completely from sin so that she never committed even the slightest transgression. Protestants tend to emphasize God’s “salvation” almost exclusively to the forgiveness of sins actually committed. However, Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to man being protected from sinning before the fact:
Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. (Jude 24-25)
Six hundred years ago, the great Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus explained that falling into sin could be likened to a man approaching unaware a deep ditch. If he falls into the ditch, he needs someone to lower a rope and save him. But if someone were to warn him of the danger ahead, preventing the man from falling into the ditch at all, he would be saved from falling in the first place. Likewise, Mary was saved from sin by receiving the grace to be preserved from it. But she was still saved.
All Have Sinned Except . . .
But what about “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “if any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 1:8)? Wouldn’t “all” and “any man” include Mary? On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But this way of thinking carried to its logical conclusion would list Jesus Christ in the company of sinners as well. No faithful Christian would dare say that. Yet no Christian can deny the plain texts of Scripture declaring Christ’s full humanity either. Thus, to take 1 John 1:8 in a strict, literal sense would apply “any man” to Jesus as well.
The truth is Jesus Christ was an exception to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. And the Bible tells us he was in Hebrews 4:15: “Christ was tempted in all points even as we are and yet he was without sin.” The question now is: Are there any other exceptions to this rule? Yes—millions of them.
Both Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:9 deal with personal rather than original sin. (Romans 5 deals with original sin.) And there are two exceptions to that general biblical norm as well. But for now, we will simply deal with Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. First John 1:8 obviously refers to personal sin because in the very next verse, John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins . . .” We do not confess original sin; we confess personal sins.
The context of Romans 3:23 makes clear that it too refers to personal sin:
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave. They use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. (Rom. 3:10-14)
Original sin is not something we do; it is something we’ve inherited. Romans chapter three deals with personal sin because it speaks of sins committed by the sinner. With this in mind, consider this: Has a baby in the womb or a child of two ever committed a personal sin? No. To sin a person has to know the act he is about to perform is sinful while freely engaging his will in carrying it out. Without the proper faculties to enable them to sin, children before the age of accountability and anyone who does not have the use of his intellect and will cannot sin. So, there are and have been millions of exceptions to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8.
Still, how do we know Mary is an exception to the norm of “all have sinned?” And more specifically, is there biblical support for this claim? Yes, there is much biblical support.
The Name Says it All
And [the angel Gabriel] came to [Mary] and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:28-30)
Many Protestants will insist this text to be little more than a common greeting of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary. “What does this have to do with Mary being without sin?” Yet, the truth is, according to Mary herself, this was no common greeting. The text reveals Mary to have been “greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:29, emphasis added). What was it about this greeting that was so uncommon for Mary to react this way? We can consider at least two key.aspects.
First, according to biblical scholars (as well as Pope John Paul II), the angel did more than simply greet Mary. The angel actually communicated a new name or title to her. (cf. Redemptoris Mater, 8, 9). In Greek, the greeting was kaire, kekaritomene, or “Hail, full of grace.” Generally speaking, when one greeted another with kaire, a name or title would be found in the immediate context. “Hail, king of the Jews” in John 19:3 and “Claudias Lysias, to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting” (Acts 23:26) are two biblical examples of this. The fact that the angel replaces Mary’s name in the greeting with “full of grace” was anything but common. This would be analogous to me speaking to one of our tech guys at Catholic Answers and saying, “Hello, he who fixes computers.” In Hebrew culture, names and name changes tell us something permanent about the character and calling of the one named. Just recall the name changes of Abram to Abraham (from “father” to “father of the multitudes”) in Genesis 17:5, Saray to Sarah (“my princess” to “princess”), in Genesis 17:15 and Jacob to Israel (“supplanter” to “he who prevails with God”) in Genesis 32:28.
In each case, the names reveal something permanent about the one named. Abraham and Sarah transition from being a “father” and “princess” of one family to being “father” and “princess” or “mother” of the entire people of God (see Rom. 4:1-18; Is. 51:1-2). They become patriarch and matriarch of God’s people forever. Jacob/Israel becomes the patriarch whose name, “he who prevails with God,” continues forever in the Church, which is called “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). The People of God will forever “prevail with God” in the image of the patriarch Jacob.
What’s in a name? According to Scripture, quite a lot.
St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name “full of grace” and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed.
Ark of the (New) Covenant
The Old Testament Ark of the Covenant was a true icon of the sacred. Because it contained the presence of God symbolized by three types of the coming Messiah—the manna, the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod—it had to be pure and untouched by sinful man (see 2 Sam. 6:1-9 and Ex. 25:10ff; Num. 4:15).
In the New Testament, the new Ark is not an inanimate object, but a person: the Blessed Mother. How much more pure would the new Ark be when we consider the old ark was a mere “shadow” in relation to it (see Heb. 10:1)? This image of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant is an indicator that Mary would fittingly be free from all contagion of sin to be a worthy vessel to bear God in her womb. And most importantly, just as the Old Covenant Ark was pristine from the moment it was constructed with explicit divine instructions in Exodus 25, so would Mary be pure from the moment of her conception. God, in a sense, prepared his own dwelling place in both the Old and New Testaments.
1. The Ark of the Covenant contained three “types” of Jesus inside: manna, Aaron’s rod, and the Ten Commandments. In Hebrew, commandment (dabar) can be translated “word.” Compare: Mary carried the fulfillment of all these types in her body. Jesus is the “true [manna] from heaven” (John 6:32), the true “High Priest” (Heb. 3:1), and “the word made flesh” (John 1:14).
2. The glory cloud (Hebrew Anan) was representative of the Holy Spirit, and it “overshadowed” the Ark when Moses consecrated it in Ex. 40:32-33. The Greek word for “overshadow” found in the Septuagint is a form of episkiasei. Compare: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The Greek word for “overshadow” is episkiasei.
3. David “leapt and danced” before the Ark when it was being carried into Jerusalem in procession in 2 Sam. 6:14-16. Compare: As soon as Elizabeth heard the sound of Mary’s salutation, John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in her womb (cf. Luke 1:41-44).
4. After a manifestation of the power of God working through the Ark, David exclaims, “How can the Ark of the Lord come unto me?” Compare: After the revelation to Elizabeth about the true calling of Mary, who was carrying God in her womb, Elizabeth exclaims, “Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)
5. The Ark of the Lord “remained in the house of Obededom . . . three months” in 2 Sam. 6:11. Compare: “Mary remained with [Elizabeth] for about three months” (Luke 1:56).
The New Eve
It is important for us to recall that New Covenant fulfillments are always more glorious and more perfect than their Old Testament types, which are “but a shadow of the good things to come” in the New Covenant (Heb. 10:1). With this in mind, let us consider the revelation of Mary as the “New Eve.” After the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, God promised the advent of another “woman” in Genesis 3:15, or a “New Eve” who would oppose Lucifer, and whose “seed” would crush his head. This “woman” and “her seed” would reverse the curse, so to speak, that the original “man” and “woman” had brought upon humanity through their disobedience.
It is most significant here to note “Adam” and “Eve” are revealed simply as “the man” and “the woman” before the woman’s name was changed to “Eve” (Hebrew, “mother of the living”) after the fall (see Gen. 2:21ff). When we then look at the New Covenant, Jesus is explicitly referred to as the “last Adam,” or the “New Adam” in 1 Cor. 15:45. And Jesus himself indicates that Mary is the prophetic “woman” or “New Eve” of Genesis 3:15 when he refers to his mother as “woman” in John 2:4 and 19:26. Moreover, St. John refers to Mary as “woman” eight times in Revelation 12. As the first Eve brought death to all of her children through disobedience and heeding the words of the ancient serpent, the devil, the “New Eve” of Revelation 12 brings life and salvation to all of her children through her obedience. The same “serpent” who deceived the original woman of Genesis is revealed, in Revelation 12, to fail in his attempt to overcome this new woman. The New Eve overcomes the serpent and as a result, “The serpent is angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God, and bear testimony to Jesus” (Rev. 12:17).
If Mary is the New Eve and New Testament fulfillments are always more glorious than their Old Testament antecedents, it would be unthinkable for Mary to be conceived in sin. If she were, she would be inferior to Eve who was created in a perfect state, free from all sin. – http://www.catholic.com
WORLD WAR I: BEYOND THE FRONT LINES – World War I, fought from 1914-1918, was the modern world’s first international conflict. Approximately 11 million soldiers were killed, and the war’s toll including civilian casualties exceeded 20 million. By Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, more than 116,000 Americans died as a result of the war. Of these, more than 1,600 were Knights of Columbus. Both the first and last American military officers to die during the war were K of C members. The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States’ participation in the war with an exhibition, World War I: Beyond the Front Lines (Apr. 6, 2017 – Dec. 30, 2018). The exhibition provides an historical retrospective of the war and includes interactives, images and artifacts from the Knights of Columbus Museum collection, Supreme Council archives and borrowed materials from private lenders and organizations. A series of WWI-related lectures and presentations will be offered throughout the course of the exhibition. For more information, visit http://www.kofcmuseum.org.
ALTERNATIVES PREGNANCY CENTER – Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Support Services, and Post Abortion Support, All Services Free and Confidential, 466 Main Street, P.O. Box 344, Greenfield, MA 01302-0344 — (413) 774-6010
✠ Blessing and Lighting of the Advent Wreath ✠
Priest Dear brethren (brothers and sisters): how beautifully in this season of Advent the Church provides that we should recite the words and recall the longing of those who lived before our Lord’s first coming. May we learn through their example to have a great longing for the day when he will come again. We do well to consider how much good our Lord did by his first coming, and how much more he will do for us by his second. This thought will help us to have a great love for that first coming, and a great longing for his return.
ALL Keep us, O Lord, while we remain on this earth, in a serious seeking after You, and in an affectionate walking with You, every day of our lives; that when You come, we may be found not hiding our talent, nor serving the flesh, nor asleep with our lamp unlit, but waiting and longing for You, our glorious God for ever. Amen.
Priest Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, pour down, we beseech You, Your blessing ✠ upon this Advent wreath, so that as these candles are lit, our hearts may glow ever brighter with the fire of ardent love of You, and that as we await with joyful expectation the Nativity of Your Son, we may with confidence behold Him when He shall come to be our Judge. And may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father ✠ and the Son ✠ and the Holy ✠ Spirit descend upon this Advent wreath and upon each of us here today.
The Advent wreath is sprinkled with Holy Water.
Priest Blessed are You, Sovereign Lord, God of our ancestors: to You be praise and glory for ever. You called the patriarchs to live by the light of faith and to journey in the hope of Your promised fulfilment. May we be obedient to Your call and be ready and watchful to receive Your Christ, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path; for You are our light and our salvation.
ALL Blessed be God for ever.
The First violet candle is lit.
Priest Let us pray: Stir up Your power, we pray, O Lord, and come, that with You to protect us, we may find rescue from the pressing dangers of our sins, and with You to set us free, we may be found worthy of salvation. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.