Pastor’s Reflection for January 1, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

 Right now, we as a church are in our Christmas season. This season ends on January 9 with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. Our Christmas celebration does not end on the day after Christmas as it does in secular society.  Our secular society is getting ready for Valentine’s Day and soon, if not now, Valentine’s decorations will be on display. The day after Christmas, the malls are busy with people returning presents and buying for next year with deep discounts on everything Christmas related. Unlike secular society, we, as Christians, should not return Jesus who is our greatest gift.  He is Emmanuel, God with us but we often put Him aside in our lives.  We can say that there is no room for Him in the inn. It is sad how many do not understand the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus came to bring His mercy, peace and love.  Don’t we all need this in our lives? Don’t we need a shepherd to provide for us and protect us from all that would harm us, especially our sinful behaviors? This is a season of peace for the Prince of Peace has come! He has taught us the way of peace is the way of love. How many still live lives full of bitterness and un-forgiveness? If we should do anything in response to the gift of Jesus, it is to extend the peace of the Lord to any in our lives that we would label as enemies. Life is too short to live with the poison of hatred. Let us meditate on the gift of Jesus and allow His love to embrace our lives and to share that love with those around us. The Church gives us an extended period of time to reflect on the great gift given to us, Jesus, who comes to save us from sin and the power of darkness.  He pays the price of our redemption through His body and blood which is made present on the altar when we celebrate Mass. Let us truly celebrate the feast of Christmas which is good news of great joy. 

We begin our new year with the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. She is also our mother who cares for us and wants to bring all her children to her Son, that like her, we may be faithful disciples of Jesus. May this New Year bring us all closer in our relationship with Jesus. May we be faithful to our daily prayer, the reading of Scripture and the attendance of Mass. May we live our lives as children of God in serving the needs of others and sharing the Good News. I pray that the Lord bless you with good health and provide you in all of your needs this coming year. We don’t know what the New Year will bring but we do know that Jesus will be with us each and every day with His love. 

I wish to thank all who gave to the Christmas collection for the retirement and health needs of the priests of the Archdiocese. I also wish to thank all who sent cards and gifts. I do appreciate your words of kindness and affection. I thank all who made our Christmas celebration a joyful celebration.  I wish to especially thank the Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Altar Servers, the choirs under the direction of Anne Grant, the ushers, Dave Scarpello, who organized the distribution of the book, Resisting Happiness, Gregory’s Florist for the floral decorations, Steve Zolud for managing the video equipment, the Liturgy Committee who worked behind the scenes and Alex Canto, who built the Christmas stable and decorated the grounds with Christmas lights.  

 I would like to thank all those who gave a double portion to the collection to help us cover monthly expenses since Christmas this year fell on a weekend. 

 As a reminder, we will be having our monthly Healing Mass this Wednesday, January 4, starting with the rosary at 7:00 p.m. 

 I will be available for confession this week on Tuesday, January 3, from 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

 May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs. 

 God love you,