The House of Bread
On behalf of Fr. Jedidiah, our deacons, parish staff, and everyone at the Petersburg Parishes, we would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. May the joy and peace of Jesus Christ radiate in your heart, home, and life. We pray that you may experience a deeper presence of the Incarnation during this Christmas season.
Something to look forward to every Christmas is the singing of the Gloria. For the weeks of Advent (except the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception), we refrain from singing the Gloria. It is part of the anticipation of erupting in glory at Christmas. The first line of the Gloria is a direct quote of the angelic proclamation to the shepherds on Christmas morning, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” (Luke 2:14). Every Mass we get to enter into the mystery of Christmas and the beauty and power of the message given to the shepherds. The Lord is near, come let us adore Him.
There are many connections between the Mass and Christmas. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem which can be translated in two ways. First it can be translated as “house of bread.” There is a secondary translation that it could be, “house of flesh.” These are probably not a coincidence. In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us His very flesh under the appearance of bread. He gives new food to sustain us and enliven our faith. As Jesus says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).
Finally Jesus is placed in a manger. This isn’t an ordinary crib. Remember, Jesus was born in a stable with animals. The only place Mary and Joseph could lay their new child was a trough, in which animals ate. Jesus is laid in the same place that food is laid. It is symbolic that this child will be food for the entire world!
We are coming to the conclusion of the Year of the Eucharist. It ends with a number of fitting feast days: Christmas, the Holy Family, the Mother of God, and the Epiphany. We have so much to be grateful for and so many reasons to thank our God. First and foremost, He is near to us in the Eucharist and allows us to worship Him through the Son.
Hopefully the momentum gained through the Year of the Eucharist continues in our parishes. One slight adjustment will be Family Friendly Adoration. We’ve decided to keep this up, but in a reduced manner. We will have adoration in the Church every Thursday and we’ll rotate between St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception. It will begin after morning Mass and end sometime between 7:00pm and 8:00pm. We’ll utilize the bulletin and Flocknote text messages to communicate which church building will be hosting adoration each week.
Have a blessed Christmas and may the joy of the newborn king fill your life with hope.
Sincerely in the love of Jesus,
Fr. Sean Wilson