Behold, I come to do your will!
When Mary went the distance to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah, she was in fact carrying Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, in her womb. We can think of Mary as the new tabernacle or the Ark of the New Covenant: Mary, in whom the Lord Himself has made His dwelling, is the Ark of the Covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells.
In the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was known to contain three things: the Ten Commandments which represent God’s word, manna which represents bread from heaven, and the staff of Aaron which represents the Levitical priesthood. When Mary carried Jesus Christ in her womb, she carried the Word (Jn1:1), the true Bread of Life (Jn6:34), and the true High Priest (Heb4:14) who offered Himself as Sacrifice and is mediator between God and Man.
However, as the Ark of the New Covenant, Mary is quite different from the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. For instance, Mary was not carried into war nor was sequestered in the temple. Mary is no warrior princess; rather, she is humble and lowly. At the Annunciation, Mary said yes to God’s will that she be the mother of His Son. She trusted in God and accepted the fact that she would become mysteriously pregnant. She gave birth to the Lord in a stable and the poor shepherds were their first visitors.
In Mary, we contemplate the fullness of our truth and the fullness of our mystery as human persons, even while we are still on pilgrimage in this earth. In Mary, we can see the essence of what a true disciple of Christ is: one who discerns God’s will in his or her life, and follows it with trust and confidence in God. Doing God’s will does not mean that we should abandon our God-given free will. God did not create us only to be mere puppets. We do have a choice, and our choice should be to align our will with God’s. Only then can we begin to understand God’s plan for us and find more meaning in life.
The time for the Mass during the Night for Christmas has been changed to 11:30 pm on December 24, 2018. The Mass during the Night will be celebrated in Chinese.
The Mass during the Day for Christmas will be celebrated at 3:30 pm on December 25, 2018. The Mass during the Day will be celebrated in Chinese. After Mass, there will be a community potluck, St. Nicholas for the children and a children’s program. Come and join us in this celebration!
On January 1, 2019, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. On this Tuesday, the Mass which is normally scheduled at 12:00 pm will be moved to 11:00 am.
Prayers for Our Church
January 3, 2019 is the Feast Day of the Holy Name of Jesus. As the patronal name of our church, we will celebrate this feast day on January 20, 2019 in lieu of the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time. Every family in our church is encouraged to pray the Novena to the Holy Name of Jesus starting from December 26, 2018 up to January 3, 2019 for the intention of the growth of our church with faithful parishioners. The Novena prayer can be found in this link: https://hnojatl.org/en/faith/prayers/
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