At this special and sacred time of the year, with deep joy and gratitude, I extend to you and your loved ones my prayerful best wishes for a holy and blessed Christmas.
During this Advent Season, it has been my prayer that each of you would find opportunities to reflect on your own faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Church. Whatever it is that our hearts and souls desire, whether we realize it or not, our ultimate desire is Jesus Himself, for this reason, we are filled with joy and consolation at Christmas to know that all that we hoped for has been fulfilled in the person of the Christ Child.
At Christmas we celebrate the astounding fact that, at a specific time in the history of humanity, love overflowed the infinite expanses of heaven and burst into our world in the form of a human being, Jesus. Jesus is the gift of the Father to us. He remains with us as we celebrate him here in Eucharist.
God who is love has gifted each of us with the gift of being loved and thereby lovable. There is one more step to take in the divine plan: that we share our gift of love with others. Then, God’s love will continue to overflow heaven and through you and me, in a ripple effect, to transform our world. All will be one as the Father and the Son are one in love. Jesus is the reason for the season. He encourages us to carry his love always in our hearts.
A gift is the giving of oneself to another. The gifts we give at Christmas – or any time – are an expression, a stand-in, for ourselves and a continuation of god’s sharing with us. Each gift to another person is another mini-chapter in the ongoing love story.
It may be the gift of our time for friends, family, another. It may be the gift of our talent, the work of our minds and hands. It may be the gift of our treasure – what we spend of our hard-earned money for family, friends, for those who are dear to us and some whose names we do not even know.
Each of us has been shown the models for giving in our Father in heaven and in Jesus, his Son. The gift of Christmas is the gift of love, bestowed and accepted. Our gifts to one another are the ongoing love story we live.
I treasure the gift of you and the dedication, sacrifices, and hard work you have shown to make this parish a beacon of Christ’s love. The times spent in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Morning Rosary and many gatherings of prayer and praises to the Lord spent by you, are very moving and a blessing.
The talent you share from ministering at Mass to making other’s feel Christ’s compassion and love by visiting the home-bound, nursing homes, bringing a meal or just a smile to many, is impressive. All you offer in support and sustenance of our Church, as well as shaping its future is indeed a blessing to all.
On behalf of Deacon Pat, Deacon Ed and all of the Staff at Holy Spirit, I wish each of you a blessed and joyous Christmas and New Year! Please be assured of my prayers for your intentions and a remembrance at Holy Mass. May the peace, joy, and love of the Holy Family be present in your lives each day of the New Year.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of goodwill.