• The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament
  • The Parishes of Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament

Mass Times

Saturday Vigil
4:00pmHoly Cross
5:30pmBlessed Sacrament

Sunday
8:00amHoly Cross
9:30amBlessed Sacrament
11:00amHoly Cross

Daily Mass
Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:00amHoly Cross
Tues,Thurs: 7:30amBlessed Sacrament

Reconciliation

Saturdays
Holy Cross
3:00pm to 3:45pm

Blessed Sacrament
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Outreach Services

ServicePhone
AA Helpline1-800-640-7545
Al-Anon1-800-339-9006
Birthright of Scranton570-961-1133
National Hotline For Abortion Recovery1-866-482+5433
Rachel’s Vineyard Post Abortive Healing1-877-467-3463
PA 24 Hour Child Abuse Hot Line1-800-932-0313

Christmas 2016

CHRISTMAS

Readings:

Mass of the Vigil: Matthew 1: 1-25; Isaiah 62: 1-5; Acts 13: 16-17, 22-25

The readings for the Vigil Mass of Christmas celebrate Jesus’ birth as the fulfillment of the First Covenant.

For Matthew, the story of Jesus begins with the promise to Abraham – that Jesus is the ultimate and perfect fulfillment of the Law and Prophets; so Matthew begins his Gospel with “a family record” of Jesus, tracing the infant’s birth from Abraham (highlighting his Jewish identity) and David (his Messiahship).

Matthew’s version of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem follows his detailed genealogy. This is not Luke’s familiar story of a child born in a Bethlehem stable, but that of a young unmarried woman suddenly finding herself pregnant and her very hurt and confused husband wondering what to do. In Gospel times, marriage was agreed upon by the groom and the bride’s parents, but the girl continued to live with her parents after the wedding until the husband was able to support her in his home or that of his parents. During that interim period, marital intercourse was not permissible.

Yet Mary is found to be with child, Joseph, an observant but compassionate Jew, does not wish to subject Mary to the full fury of Jewish law, so he plans to divorce her “quietly.” But in images reminiscent of the First Testament “annunciations” of Isaac and Samuel, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and reveals that this child is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Because of his complete faith and trust in God’s promise, Joseph acknowledges the child and names him Jesus (“Savior”) and becomes, in the eyes of the Law, the legal father of Jesus. Thus, Jesus, through Joseph, is born a descendent of David.

Matthew’s point in his infancy narrative is that Jesus is the Emmanuel promised of old – Isiah’s prophecy has finally been fulfilled in Jesus: the “virgin” has given birth to a son, one who is a descendent of David’s house (through Joseph). Jesus is truly Emmanuel – God is with us.

The promise fulfilled is also the theme of Isaiah’s insistence that God will fulfill his promises to the exiled Israelites returning home (first reading). Like the great love of a generous spouse, God not only forgives his people but entrusts to them the promise of the Messiah.

Paul’s sermon to the Jews at Antioch Pisidia in the Acts of the Apostles (second reading) is a concise chronicle of the promise of Emmanuel fulfilled.

Mass at Midnight:Luke 2: 1-14;Isaiah 9: 1-6;Titus 2: 11-14

Centuries of hope in God’s promise have come to fulfillment: the Messiah is born!

Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth (Gospel) begins by placing the event during the reign of Caesar Augustus. Augustus, who ruled from 27 B.C. – 14 A.D.), was honored as “savior” and “god” in ancient Greek inscriptions. His long reign was hailed as the pax Augusta – a period of peace throughout the vast Roman world. Luke very deliberately points out that it is during the rule of Augustus, the savior, god and peace-maker, that Jesus the Christ, the long-awaited Savior and Messiah, the Son of God and Prince of Peace, enters human history.

Throughout his Gospel, Luke shows how it is the poor, the lowly, the outcast and the sinner who immediately hear and embrace the preaching of Jesus. The announcement of the Messiah’s birth to shepherds – who were among the most isolated and despised in the Jewish community – is in keeping with Luke’s theme that the poor are especially blessed of God.

In his “Book of Emmanuel” (chapters 6-12), the prophet Isaiah describes Emmanuel as the new David, the ideal king who will free his enslaved people (first reading). The “day of Midian” refers to Gideon’s decisive defeat of the Midianites, a nomadic nation of outlaws who ransacked the Israelites’ farms and villages (Judge 6-8).

Paul’s letter to his co-worker Titus articulates the heart of the mystery of the Incarnation: the grace of God himself has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ (second reading).