English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Merry Christmas!

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Believe it or not, this Sunday we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Advent and something very interesting is that we are celebrating just one day since today we are also having the Vigil Mass for Christmas. We love and get excited with the season of Christmas, which is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Christmas is always a time of excitement and hope. Yes, especially hope. Hope is to expect that something good is coming; something great is going to happen. Jesus is coming. Is there something greater than this? Let ask you something, Is someone coming to visit you this Christmas?

Would you have a guest visiting you this Christmas? Are you visiting someone this Christmas? There is someone who would like to spend time with you this Christmas and would longs for you to spend time with you this Christmas: Jesus Christ. Would you allow him to be with you? Would you open your heart to him and receive him? Christmas is a celebration of Love that God has for all of us in sending us His Son to give us peace, to give us joy. I really hope and pray that this season of Christmas be truly a time to welcome the special guest we are having this Christmas. Everybody is invited to our Christmas vigil Mass on December 24th at 10:00PM. On behalf of Fr. Walter, our staff and myself we would like to wish you a blessed and happy Christmas.

May God Bless you,
Fr. Abel Loera, Pastor

“The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

God’s Promise

The lengthy passage from Samuel is a wonderful exposition of God’s promise to the house of David: that his throne
would forever be gloriously occupied by his descendants. Hidden in the mystery of the prophecy is the promise of the Savior, the Messiah, Son of God and Son of David. The prophet Nathan, speaking in God’s name, poetically turns around David’s plan to build a house for God, and announces God’s plan to build a “house,” that is, a dynasty for David. From this house of David will come the Messiah, the Christ, not in kingly splendor as David ruled, but as a humble man, destined to rule forever and over all. When God gives a gift, it’s amazing what we are given—so different from what we ever could have imagined.

Readings for the Week

Vigil: Is 62:1-5; Ps 89:4-5, 16-17, 27-29; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Mt 1:1-25 [18-25]
During the Night: Is 9:1-6; Ps 96:1-3, 11-13; Ti 2:11-14; Lk 2:1-14
Dawn: Is 62:11-12; Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12; Ti 3:4-7; Lk 2:15-20
Day: Is 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; Jn 1:1-18 [1-5, 9-14]
Tuesday: Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59; Ps 31:3cd-4, 6, 8ab, 16bc, 17; Mt 10:17-22
Wednesday: 1 Jn 1:1-4; Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12; Jn 20:1a, 2-8
Thursday: 1 Jn 1:5 — 2:2; Ps 124:2-5, 7cd-8; Mt 2:13-18
Friday: 1 Jn 2:3-11; Ps 96:1-3, 5b-6; Lk 2:22-35
Saturday: 1 Jn 2:12-17; Ps 96:7-10; Lk 2:36-40
Sunday: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14 or Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3; Ps 128: 1-5 or Ps 105:1-6, 8-9; Col 3:12-21 [12-17] or Hb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Lk 2:22-40 [22, 39-40]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Monday: The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Tuesday: St. Stephen; Kwanzaa begins
Wednesday: St. John
Thursday: The Holy Innocents
Friday: Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord; St. Thomas Becket
Saturday: Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

Treasures from Our Tradition

Children of the parish are somewhat focused on Santa Claus these days, who is keeping an eye on who’s naughty and who’s nice. Santa Claus, with his heavenly patron Saint Nicholas, has been more or less in charge of gift-giving to American children for a hundred years or so. In other places, perhaps more attentive to our Christian tradition, there are different gift-bearers. In Greece, Saint Basil delivers the presents on his feast day, December 31, and makes sure everyone is sprinkled with holy water. The Baby Jesus is in charge elsewhere, called the Christkind in Austria and Belgium, El Niño Jesús in Columbia, and Le Petit Jesus in France, where he shares his duties with Père Noël. In the Czech Republic almost everyone is atheist, but Ježíšek, the infant Jesus, brings gifts to one and all. In Poland the “Star Man” is said to bring the gifts, although often he turns out to be the village priest in disguise. Saint Nicholas, not his Americanized cousin, is the giver in Holland, where he wears a bishop’s miter, and in Russia, where he wears a bishop’s crown. Soviet Russia tried to de-throne Saint Nicholas and promote Grandfather Frost, but no one was much fooled by this attempt to squeeze religion out of Christ’s birth. One country has a saintly woman in charge of the gifts, Saint Lucy, honored in Sweden on December 13, when children serve their parents breakfast in bed, and others awake to news that they have been nominated for a Nobel Prize. Some children have a second round of gifts on Epiphany, when the magi assume the gift-giving duties. In general, the gifts of Christmas are simple pleasures, not great heaps of treasures. Once upon a time, a new pair of socks or an orange was enough for us. No matter what gifts we receive, all of them are to point us to the true gift, and the true giver.