Today is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Our attention on this Sunday is directed to the coming of Christ in the Christmas mystery. While the Gospel by Luke centres on the annunciation to Mary and on the humble faith and submission of the Virgin. Matthew’s story is centred on Joseph, for it is through him that the kinship to David was passed. The Gospel today comes from the very first chapter of St. Matthew (1:18-24). It is already a complete profession of faith: Jesus, Son of David, Son of Abraham, Son of God is the promised Messiah, the Saviour, “God with us”.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they will call him, Emmanuel, which means “God-is-with-us” (Matthew 1:23). Matthew begins his Gospel calling Jesus Emmanuel and he ends his Gospel using that same concept. “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe everything I have commanded you. And look, I am with you always, till the end of time” (Matthew 28:20). Joseph trusted in the message that he received in his dream. In the first reading from Isaiah (7:10-14) we have the story of King Ahaz. He was not a good king. Ahaz ruled Judah from 735 BC to 715 BC. He came to the throne at the age of twenty. He inherited political troubles that overwhelmed his courage and ability. He panicked easily in a time that called for fortitude and faith. He entered into an alliance with a powerful Assyrian kingdom. The price of political survival was religious surrender to Assyria. His apostasy and abandonment of his belief in the Lord is harshly condemned in the books of 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles and Isaiah. His son Hezekiah took over reign of the land and began an era of spiritual reform. Ahaz in today’s first reading refused to ask a sign from the Lord. He pretends to be religious and refuses to listen to the prophet Isaiah’s message to him. “…the maiden is with child and soon will give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel..” (Isaiah 7:14). Ahaz is not about to wait on the kingdom of heaven or on the will of the Lord. He would rather put his trust in the neighbouring countries rather than on the Lord. He puts his trust in false values rather than the truth that God wants to give him. Isaiah, tells the king that a child will be born that will be a true King. This King will restore the glorious line of David and be a sign that God is with human-kind. As the years past the kings of Judah never fulfilled the high ideals of these prophecies and thus the expectation of a future, ideal messianic king grew stronger. St. Paul opens his letter to the Romans (1:1-7) in today’s second reading clearly stating that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the hopes of all of humanity. “The news is ….about Jesus Christ our Lord, who, in the order of the spirit….was proclaimed Son of God…” St. Joseph believed. No words of Joseph are recorded in Sacred Scripture just deeds. He took Mary for his wife. He took Mary and the baby to the safety of Egypt. Joseph, the silent man of the Scriptures was a man of faith. We are invited into the company of Mary and Joseph, Isaiah and John the Baptist, Paul and all those who have believed, and staked their lives on the promise of God.
Thanks for the generous collection last weekend. It came to £1740. One can use the “DONATE” button on our website which makes the process easier if one wishes to contribute to the Graan. We appreciate your support during these days of financial constraints. Be assured of our prayers.
Our dead remembered: Over the preparation for Christmas there will be a special petition box in the front of the altar. All your family and friends who have died over the past years their names can be placed in the box and they will be remembered in our Christmas Masses.
Christmas crib: All the proceeds from our crib will go this year to the St. Vincent de Paul in Enniskillen
Confessions: We celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation this week from Monday to Saturday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. We would appreciate it so much if you did not leave this important preparation for the birth of Christ to the last moment!
Christmas Eve Vigil @ 8pm. Christmas Day 9am, 10.30am & 12noon. Note: No 4pm Mass.
10:30 am Mass choir would like more recruits to help with the singing. If God has blessed you with a good voice and you are willing to make a commitment to help each Sunday morning please make yourself known to the group.
The Shop: There are a few cribs on display as well as candles, cards and suitable gifts for Christmas.
Our Graan Calendars are available free of charge.
Aisling Centre – 6th Annual Hope Healing Growth Day of Inspiration 7th January 2023. Crest Centre, SW College, Enniskillen. Further info & tickets available on Eventbrite https://tinyurl.com/28897tmy or Aisling Centre 028 66 325811.
Paddy Rogers, Rossinver, Co Leitrim
Niamh Donnelly, Oakfield Rd, Enniskillen
John & Libra Mullen, Sligo Rd, Enniskillen
Michael O’Dolan, Ashwoods, Enniskillen
Eddie Mc Caffrey, Mullanskea, Enniskillen
Patrick & Teresa Mc Caffrey, Enniskillen
Eileen Mc Donnell, Lisnaskea
Ewan Watson, Monea
Paddy & Peggy Meehan, Derrygonnelly
Sheila & Tommy Mc Gourty, Blacklion
Darla & Gareth Humphreys, Enniskillen
Gemma Doherty, Garrison
Oliver & Carmel Harte, Garrison & Letterkenny
Paddy Flanagan, Garrison
Dan Morris, Bellanaleck & Enniskillen
Karl Burns, Drumclay Rd, Enniskillen
Seamus Mc Cabe, Newtownbutler
Katie & Hugh Fay, Belturbet
Joe Mc Govern, Borim, Swanlinbar
Gary Mc Aloon, Skea, Arney
The Mc Aloon & Meehan families
Mary & John Mc Aloon and sister-in-law Mary, Arney
Marie Boyle, Old Rossorry Road, Enniskillen
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201