From our Pastor: December 31, 2017

Merry Christmas! As we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world, in this Christmas Season (until January 8, 2018, this year), and the Feast of the Holy Family this Sunday, may we pause for a few moments and contemplate this great Mystery of Jesus’ birth (with help from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Homily, December 24, 2006; General Audience, January 3, 2007):

“God’s reign is the baby in need of help and in poverty. Exactly the same sign has been given to us… God’s sign is simplicity… God’s sign is that He makes Himself small for us. This is how He reigns. He does not come to us with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby – defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with His strength. He takes away our fear of His greatness. He asks for our love: so He makes Himself a child. He wants nothing from us other than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into His feelings, His thoughts, and His will – we learn to live with Him and to practice with Him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made Himself small so that we could understand Him, welcome Him, and love Him… Christmas has become the Feast of Gifts in imitation of God Who has given Himself to us. Let us allow our heart, our soul, and our mind to be touched by this fact!… ”

“It is only the Child lying in the manger who possesses the true secret of life. For this reason, He asks us to welcome Him, to make room for Him within us, in our hearts, in our homes, in our cities, and in our societies. The words of Saint John’s Gospel Prologue echo in our minds and hearts: ‘To all who received Him… He gave power to become children of God’ (John 1:12). Let us endeavor to be among those who welcome Him. Before Him one cannot remain indifferent. We too, dear friends, must continuously take sides. What will our response be? With what attitude will we welcome Him? The simplicity of the shepherds and the seeking of the Magi who scrutinized the signs of God by means of the star come to our help. The humility and docility of Mary and the wise prudence of Joseph serve as an example to us… The love that Jesus, born in Bethlehem, brought into the world binds to Himself in a lasting relationship of friendship and brotherhood all who welcome Him. Saint John of the Cross said: ‘In giving us all, that is, His Son, in Him God has now said all. Fix your eyes on Him alone… and you will find in addition more than you ask and desire.’”

With prayers for a joyful and blessed Christmas Season and New Year, in Christ,

Fr. William

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