The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

 

Piazza Immacolatacolonnaroma
There are many columns around the world dedicated to Mary, this one in Rome is under the title of the Immaculate Conception. It was erected shortly after the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was promulgated.

Mary is shown with representations of the four evangelists along with her typical artistic calligraphy as the Immaculate Conception.

Since the column itself was originally raised by the local firemen, the custom of the fire department placing a bouquet at Mary's feet and a floral wreath around her outstretched arm on this date has developed. 

Mary's Immaculate Conception, her fiat or let it be done to me at the Annunciation and Jesus' Incarnation in her womb are each important parts of God's wonderful plan for our redemption.


Saint Ambrose

Ambrose
Saint Ambrose, bishop and one of original doctors of the Church helps keep the Chair of Peter aloft in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He is shown on the left front in mitre, with one of his pupils, St. Augustine in miter on the right front of the chair.

Ambrose wrote, spoke eloquently and defended the Church against heterodox doctrine while guiding the direction the Church would take until this very day.

Augustine was initially attracted by Ambrose's preaching style, but stayed for his substance and through Ambrose's influence re-animated his Christian faith.

 


Read the Signs of the Seasons

Fig Apparently fig trees can be immense! Jesus uses them to focus our attention on paying the proper attention to the signs his ministry manifests to the world: the deaf hear, the blind see, the dead are raised, the poor are fed and the people have the Good News preached to them.

The end of the church's calendar year helps us anticipate the coming of the Advent season: let us prepare.


St. Andrew, Apostle and Martyr

Saint_Andrew
Statue of St. Andrew in the Vatican

Saint Andrew is sometimes called the "first called" apostle, since it was he who introduced  his brother Simon to Jesus (in John's gospel).

Andrew's generosity and immediacy in responding to Christ's call can be a model for our discipleship. So often we ruminate on things and call it discerning God's will, when what we need is a little more of Andrew's complete commitment in following Jesus at the very first call.

 

 


Enjoy Handel's Messiah at Holy Cross Church 2017

Hc_church_sanctuary (1)

RUMSON, NJ – On Sunday, December 10th at 3:00 p.m., the sanctuary of Holy Cross Church will be filled with the tremendous sounds of George Frideric Handel’s MessiahPart One. The classical piece, including the famous Hallelujah Chorus, will be performed by the Holy Cross Choir and several professional soloists accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Due to its immense popularity, the event is now the third annual at the Catholic church in Rumson. The parish welcomes all to experience the beauty of music that celebrates anticipation and joy of the birth of the Jesus, as all Christians do during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

The concert is free and open to the public; a free will offering is appreciated.

Come; reset; prepare; and rejoice!

 

Thanks to Teresa Makin for the terrific ad and story now running in the Atlantic Highlands Herald


The Handwriting On the Wall

Rembrandt-BelsazarToday's reading recounts Daniel's prophetic interpretation of the mysterious handwriting on the wall which appeared during a sacrilegious feast by King Belshazzar using the sacred vessels from the captured Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. 

The king could not read the message due to his hardness of heart and his drunkenness. 

These last few days of ordinary time remind us of the hostile receptions given Old Testament prophets. The new prophecy announced by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary and brought to fulfillment in Jesus Christ will soon be upon us. By prayer and corporal and spiritual gifts of mercy, may our hearts be ready to receive Jesus this Christmas.


Martian Baptisms?

Martian Baptism
Martians in St. Peter's?

One of our seventh graders asked me last week if there are aliens on other planets and would they have souls and go to heaven?

I knew that the topic had been explored with the manned lunar landing and the martian rover. As recently as Vatican II, Paul VI changed today's feast name to Christ the King of the Universe. So a little research was in order.

Turns out Thomas Aquinas answered the question when asked could there have been other incarnations? Citing the evidence of angels as extraterrestrial life forms and not being able to prove there weren’t other life forms, Thomas thought that saying there could only be one Incarnation of the Son of God, the one in Bethlehem, put limits on God’s power and others couldn’t be excluded.

Modern theologians agree that the same Trinity is God over all creation, but disagree over whether there could be Incarnations in every kind of created world. It’s not likely Martians would celebrate the historic coming of Christ to earth, but not impossible there would have been a coming of the Second Person of the Trinity to Martians - a Martian Christmas of their own.

If not, would there need to be missionaries to Martians? Weird to think about.

Pope Francis was recently asked if Martians landed in Vatican City and asked to be baptized whether he would turn them away? Predictably he replied, "Who am I to turn them away?" He would baptize them, if they asked.

The question is more academic than real at the present time, but our answers help define what’s important about today’s feast, the nature of Christ and of God and our belief in Jesus Second Coming. We can pray about the nature of Christ, His essential role in our salvation and resist the modern temptations to minimize his divinity or his primacy over the heavenly kingdom.

There isn’t a heaven full of gods, just one.

The Trinity doesn’t wage war with competing deities.

Jesus Christ wasn’t simply a prophet for the human race; He is the most perfect revelation of God the human race will ever have.

We celebrate his birth with singular importance at Christmas and we await his Coming Again when he recreates the universe. 

Whether my favorite martian is in heaven is for God to decide. But God’s Son Jesus Christ became one of us, suffered, died and rose and invited us to heaven. We are created in his image and likeness and we follow in Jesus' footsteps from our baptisms until our entry into our heavenly home.

We sing His praise and proclaim Him Lord of the Universe!


Thanksgiving Prayer With Holy Cross School Children

Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving_38
Today Holy Cross School children in the lower grades gave thanks to God for their many blessings. Each of our 3rd grade students had drawn and colored a picture of something they were thankful for and they presented their artwork on a PowerPoint as we prayed for their intention. We prayed The Lord's Prayer and sent everyone on their way reminded to give thanks to God and to someone special in their lives.

 


Saint Cecilia, Early Christian Martyr

SaintCeciliaAccording to legend, when St. Cecilia's body was exhumed, her fingers were found in positions interpreted as a witness to the Trinity - Three persons in One God.

Her husband and brother-in-law were martyred for piously burying the dead Christian martyrs and Cecilia's burying them both brought her to the attention of Roman authority. After refusing to renounce God and worship pagan deities, she too was martyred. Her name is included in the Roman Canon, an early Eucharistic prayer.

 


Donor Book Inscribed

Our Memorial Donor Book for the church's capital campaign has been engraved and returned to Holy Cross. Thank you to all our generous donors. IMG_0858
It is truly a worthy remembrance for those who have given so generously to Holy Cross Church. Our next engraving will likely be in six months to one year depending on when pledges to the campaign are completed.