For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade
Through much of Advent we read from the Prophet Isaiah. In those readings we often hear a reference to the poor and how God will save the poor. Later in the Christmas season we will hear Jesus quote Isaiah 61:1 when He gets up to proclaim the Word and teach in the Synagogue: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. We might think to ourselves, well isn’t Jesus just great with the poor! Think of how He helps them and causes us to exert our charity in helping the poor. He lays out all this stuff about us doing for the least of these, thus doing it for Him. That work for the poor helps us get to heaven. The Church, in the model of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, established the Corporal Works of Mercy focused on the poor.
What we tend to miss in all this discussion of the poor is the fact that Jesus did not specifically come to address the economically poor. Remember, He told us: For you always have the poor with you. (Matthew 26:11). If He did not come to address the economically poor, then who did He come to help? The answer is simple enough, Me. Jesus came and gave His all for me. I started in a place that was very poor – my humanity – and Jesus took on my poorness, entered into my poverty – to raise me and many on high, up to the very heaven He came from. He sacrificed His life to make me rich, a co-heir with Him to all His Heavenly Father has.
As we walk through Advent and finally gaze on the representation of Jesus in the poverty of the stable, let us remember where we were before we came to faith in Jesus and how very rich we are now. Then let us act! Certainly, to act means to care for the economically poor as required of us by the gospel of Jesus, but also beyond that to lift up those who are what we were, poor without Christ Jesus. Let us use this new Church Year to invite them into the Kingdom, to share in the treasure we have, to be rich with us.
Welcome to our December 2022 Newsletter and the journey through Advent to the start of the Christmas season (all forty days of Christmas starting Christmas Day). As you can imagine, there is tons going on.
The Opłatki / Christmas Wafers and Advent Wreath are blessed. The Church’s youth are gathering the evening of December 2nd. We have our Seniorate Advent gathering and youth meeting on December 3rd. There is daily Holy Mass at Noon and Rorate Holy Masses every Wednesday of Advent at 7:30am. Join us for our Wigilia / Vigil Dinner on December 11th. Help us decorate (green the Church) on December 18th. We have a full schedule of Holy Masses for Christmas (the traditional three) including the Shepherd’s Holy Mass at Midnight – yes, a real Midnight Mass right here in Schenectady. Join in our giving efforts, enjoy a concert by the Thursday Musical Club, offer a Memory Cross in honor of someone you wish to remember this Christmas season, and join us in giving thanks for all who do so much on behalf of the parish. Above all, remember to keep centered on the Holy Eucharist.
All that and more in our December 2022 Newsletter.