Mary and Advent

We are into the second week of Advent and as we approach the Feast of Christmas, we wonder how we can prepare ourselves for the birth of the Savior. This week we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In this column I would like to draw your attention to Mary. Besides Jesus, no other figure is more central to the Christmas story than Mary. There is no one else who can help us prepare better for the birth of the Savior than the Mother of the Savior Himself. We can only imagine with what tender love and eager anticipation she would have awaited His birth. His arrival changed drastically not only her life but also the course of human history. What lessons can we learn from this humble maiden from Nazareth whom God diligently transformed to become a worthy dwelling for His Son?

First of all, she is a woman of profound, prayerful reflection. In his infancy accounts, Luke uses twice the same set of words to describe the mental state of Mary: “She treasured all these things in her heart.” Many of the things that happened to her – the message from Archangel Gabriel, the praise from Elizabeth, the visit of the shepherds and the adoration of the Magi – were intriguing and she pondered them in her heart. In prayer she recognized the hand of God who was working out His plan quietly but surely. Even at the foot of the Cross, her demeanor is one of prayerful submission to God’s will.

Second, her trust in God is extraordinary. What young woman would not have recoiled in fear when the angel suddenly interrupts her peaceful life with an earth-shaking message from God? Even though she does not understand and is puzzled, Mary does believe that “nothing is impossible for God.”  Putting her trust in the God who reached out to her, Mary humbly submits to His will. That same trust carried her through many moments in Jesus’ life – when He was lost in the Temple, when He left her to begin His public ministry, when He was rejected by His own people, and finally, when He was crucified as a criminal. She knew that through all those difficult moments God was holding her and that eventually Easter would dawn.

Third, she practiced the love for others that her Son so powerfully preached. Immediately after the annunciation, Mary did not sit back to enjoy her new-found celebrity. Gripped by her concern for her elderly cousin Elizabeth, she undertook a difficult journey over the hills of Judea and spent six months to serve her cousin. As the Word took flesh in her, she carried that Word to others in acts of loving service. That same spirit of service in her is evident in her intervention on behalf of a needy couple on their wedding day. It was she who noticed that they were running out of wine. In spite of her Son’s objections, she prevailed on Him to work a miracle. 

We are less than three weeks from Christmas. Let us imitate Mary as we get ready. Amidst the hustle and bustle of our last-minute preparations, let us spend some time in prayerful reflection. Perhaps we can listen to some holy Christmas music that will remind us of God’s gift of His Son to us. Maybe we can read the story of Christmas as recounted by Matthew and Luke. Perhaps we can share that story with our children.

Even as we get Christmas presents for our friends and family, let us not lose sight of those who have so little. Perhaps we can volunteer our time in some form of service. Maybe we can donate money to a charitable cause. We can also pray for those who are suffering that someone may come to their aid. Let us reach out to someone within our family or among our friends and share an act of kindness. Let us do good to someone who cannot return the favor.

Finally, let us try to release the control of our lives to our loving God Who loves us and is worthy of our trust. We need to remind ourselves – whether our lives are going well or not so well – that nothing is impossible for God. He is the God who continues to work wonders even in our time. Instead of carrying all our burdens by ourselves, we need to bring them to Him in prayer. He will lighten our heavy load, and we will be refreshed.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say to you, rejoice! For the Lord is near.

Mission Statement: As children of God, living in a Catholic community of faith, we are united by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Aware that all we have is gift and grace from our Heavenly Father, we strive to give of our time, talent and treasure to build His kingdom on earth. We live this mission, challenged by the Word, nurtured by the Sacraments, and enlivened by the Spirit, to serve our brothers and sisters in peace, justice and dignity. All are welcome on this journey.

Liturgical Schedule


   Monday through Friday

   8:30 am - Upper Church


   4:30 pm - Upper Church


   7:30 am - Upper Church

   9:00 am - HFC

   9:30 am - Gym

   10:30 am - Upper Church

   12:00 pm - Gym


   1st and 3rd Friday

   after 8:30 am Mass

   (must attend Mass first)



   3-4 pm - Upper Church


   8-9 am - Upper Church

Registrations are required for all Masses. You may register by calling 847-825-7605 or by clicking below:

   Sign up for Gym Masses

   Sign up for All Other Masses

   Sign up for Events and Meetings

 Before attending Mass:

   Watch Return to Mass
   Read Reopening Guide

E-Newsletter Signup!

Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

View Larger Map

Phone: (847) 825-7605

Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

8:30 am - Upper Church


4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church


7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

9:30 am - Gym

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym