Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday of the Fourth Week of Advent

St. Jude Catholic Church, Lakewood, Colorado

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew   1:18-24

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.  For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.  She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means "God is with us."  When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

 This is just so beautiful.  "Do not be afraid" the angel says. How many time is this repeated in the Gospels?  

I am quite sick, have no idea what is wrong with me.  I spent yesterday morning making candy with my daughter.  We make candy every year for Christmas gifts for co-workers and other friends.  After we had made candy, we went to see the Harry Potter movie for the second time.  I started to feel ill while at the theater.  When we left the theater, we went to get a gift certificate for a fancy-spa-pedicure for my daughter-in-law who has just had her first child - my beautiful granddaughter.  While walking to the store, I told my daughter that my back hurt so bad I felt like I had just been in a car accident!  She sort of rolled her eyes at me - I do have a flair for drama.  

By the time we got home, I wilted into the sofa and stopped all planned activities.  By dinner time, I ate 5 saltine crackers as my sole nutrition in an interest to not to aggravate my sick stomach.  By 7:30 p.m. I was in bed, fast asleep.  

I did manage to get to mass this morning.  And now I will have to go to confession and pray for forgiveness for the evil things I was thinking at mass.  So, I will ask you, how is it that you can go to mass without being bothered by people who will not stop talking during the entire mass?  At the 7 a.m. mass, a family comes every week.  Every week they are late.  Every week they talk through the entire mass.  Every week they hold each other and stroke each other through the entire mass.  During the sign of peace, they all kiss each other, on the lips, and extend this ritual between all five of them, long past the time when others have turned their eyes back forward, in reverence to the mass.  Then they go to communion, and come back and talk with each other all over again.  

I know it is not my job to judge them, but it is so distracting I sometimes will move so that they are not in my line of sight.  But when they come late, as they do each week, I don't know where they will sit until mass has begun.  Today, they were right in front of me.  I prayed, and I tried to focus on the mass, and tried to ignore them, but I didn't do too well.

Maybe it is because I don't feel well.  But now I have to find a church with confessions this week - I think I know where one is.  

I am grateful for confession.  And I am grateful for my sofa on a Sunday morning.  I am grateful for the hand-knit (by me) mohair afghan which keeps me so warm today.  And if anyone should read this gibberish, I am grateful for you!


  1. I hope you feel better soon. When my daughter had a kidney stone she said she felt very similar- very bad back ache, fever and nausea. You may want to call your doctors office just in case it's a stone or infection.

    Don't feel bad about the distraction in church, we have the same continual problem but it's letting several kids run wild, literally run wild during mass. Talking, laying in the aisles, running across the church to other family members, fighting among themselves, grabbing the hair of people in front of them (accidentally bu continually), etc. I don't know why three adults cannot keep 4 kids under 6 in line. I was so upset one day I didn't feel that I was in the right frame of mind to take communion. Take care- call the doctor!

  2. Hey there :-) I do hope you feel better MC! I too can become distracted by the folks at Mass "who aren't doing it right" when I really ought to just be grateful they are there at all. (I'll let you know ho that turn out!)

    I wasn't much for going to Mass this morning either, but I dragged my butt in there and I felt better.

    Be well, and enjoy the gift of Reconciliation! I need to find my way there this week as well.

  3. I'm sorry to hear you've been ill, Mary Christine, and hope you feel better soon. It can be very frustrating and distracting when people around you are noisy at Mass. It's kind of hard to pray and focus on the Lord when too many other things are going on. When my daughter was young I used to take her to the back entry when she got noisy so she wouldn't disturb others.

  4. I meant to go to confession during advent myself, and somehow failed. Actually I still have a chance at my church on Christmas Eve.

    I was thinking the same thing about "Do not be afraid" at church myself this morning. I had not realized it had been said it to Joseph too.

    If those annoying people sit at the same area every Sunday, perhaps you can relocate yourself to get away from them. I completely sympathize. I can't stand noisy, self-centered people in church myself.

    Feel better.