At this special time of the year, I want to thank you for your willingness to serve and support our parish community. I am truly grateful for your generosity which, in so many ways, has enhanced and strengthened our many Christmas Outreach programs, our energetic youth ministries, our wonderful choir, and our many other programs, ministries, and activities. As a vibrant community, with a strong spiritual foundation, we have been truly blessed with the gift of faith. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has challenged us in his profound and simple way to share this gift of faith. He has recently preached a message of love and forgiveness. He echoed the words of Jesus and urged us “to be not afraid” to share the joy of the Gospel. He has invited us to open our hearts and walk in the light especially at this time of the year.
As we know, we live in a busy, hectic, and complex world. It is a world that is becoming increasingly secular in it orientation. Our Holy Father is acutely aware of this. He reminds us that in this world we can easily lose our focus on what is truly important. And what is truly important is what Jesus means to us. God in His love for us sent His only Son into our world to save us. At Christmas, Christ comes into our world, into our homes, and into our hearts. Jesus “Emmanuel” comes to us. We are therefore invited to reflect on the words of Jesus taken from the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verses 1 and 6: “Do not let your hearts be troubled … I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
We are challenged to embrace these words of Christ and allow them to resonate in our hearts during this special season. May this season truly be a time of prayer and reflection, wonder and silence as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Light of the world. As a community of faith, in the spirit of Pope Francis, may we truly experience the joy and the love of the Lord this Christmas. May God continue to guide and protect you and your loved ones, and may your Christmas be blessed by holiness, happiness, and peace.
It is a great honor and privilege to serve you.