The “Ark of the Covenant,” as specified in Exodus 37:1-9, was a chest made of acacia wood overlaid with gold inside and out. Its cover was made with pure gold and held images of angels guarding this “holy of holies.” The Ark contained the stone tablets on which were written the Ten Commandments. This was a symbol of God’s presence among His people. In Exodus we read the many miracles that occur just to have the “Ark” in your vicinity. King David knows well the power of God contained with the Ark’s presence. On this fourth Sunday of Advent our Biblical lessons turn to Kind David and his guilt that he is living in a palace while the “Ark of Covenant” was still contained within a tent made of canvas. But through the prophet Nathan he would learn that God has a plan for His dwelling among humanity. The plan includes an heir after King David who shall embody God’s presence among humanity. Many thought the heir was King David’s Son Solomon who was gifted by God with great wisdom. Indeed he constructed the First Temple of Jerusalem to contain the Ark. But the dwelling place that God intended was not one made by human hands but would take place in the womb of a Virgin named Mary. She would become the new “Ark of the Covenant;” the new dwelling place for the eternal Word of God becoming flesh. His name would be called “Emmanuel;” God is with us! We rejoice on this fourth short Sunday of our Advent observance and look ahead to our celebrating the anniversary of the birth of He who would save us: Jesus born in Bethlehem, Jesus of Nazareth.
FROM OUR PARISH’S PASTORAL TEAM: Fr. Ron Sajdak, Fr. Daniel Ogbeifun, Deacon Paul & Mary Weisenburger, Pat Dyer, Barbara & Joe Strusienski, Debbie Obstarczyk, and Shaun Hughes, we pray God’s eternal presence be with each of you and your family as we gather these days to celebrate the birth of Jesus who changed our human history. God so loved us all, that He gave Himself to us within His own Son. May Jesus be present to you and your families this Holy Season. Many Blessings as well be yours during this coming New Year of our Lord.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU goes out to two benefactors who each year provide for the fresh cut Christmas Trees and Wreaths that decorate both St. Lawrence and St. Martin de Porres Parish Churches. May the Lord bless you for your generosity.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES Holy Name Society will again this year assist us in bringing in the New Year with their Annual New Year’s Party to be held Sunday, December 31st from 7:30PM to 1:30AM at Hamlin House, located at 432 Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo. $50 admission ticket provides a buffet dinner beginning at 8:30pm, four hours open wine and soft drink bar, hats, noise makers, etc. Come and join us for a great time as we welcome in the New Year 2018. Tickets are available by calling St. Martin de Porres Church Office at 883-7729.
NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY WELCOMES – The Pastoral Ministry Team of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary wish to warmly welcome members of the People of Praise Community and Charismatic Catholics throughout Western NY for a special Mass that will be held on those months containing a fifth Sunday. The first will take place Sunday, December 31st at the 5:00PM Mass. The Charismatic gifts, mentioned in the early Christian Community at Corinth in the New Testament will be welcomed as we give thanks for this past year and rededicated ourselves with Mary our Mother in this New Year as followers of Jesus her Son.