Consider this… A Different Christmas.
Merry Christmas to all of you. This year I am sure that every one of our Christmas celebrations is just a little bit different than what we expected. Even though it may be different, I would like you to consider that this may unite us even closer to the Holy Family.
What do I mean? Well, imagine all that the Holy Family went through. An unexpected pregnancy, the threat of stoning Mary, Joseph thinking he would divorce Mary quietly, angels coming in dreams and giving vision and direction to the future, a long travel while pregnant to Bethlehem, no room for a ‘normal’ childbirth, only to be home in a stable. The first Christmas was anything but what a young family might expect.
This year we too are experiencing in many ways unexpected celebrations, or even lack thereof. Maybe this ‘different Christmas’ can unite us closer to the Holy Family. Just maybe the real meaning of Christmas might be discovered in appreciating what we CAN do and celebrate. The Son of God came into the world in a most unexpected way. This is a time that we need to look and see where Jesus continues to come into our world. We celebrate the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, but that historical event continues even today through you and me. That is part of the great mystery of the incarnation. God dwells with us, so we can become more like God.
You and I are invited this Christmas to be more Christlike. As we prepare for the end of 2020, we need to remind ourselves that if we want this world to change for the good, it needs to begin with us. As Catholics, that means it begins by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, acting and being his Disciple in the world, and bringing his message of hope, peace, joy and love to all we encounter. How do we do that? Make a resolution to encounter Jesus more in prayer, in the Eucharist, in Reconciliation and forgiveness, in reaching out to those in need.
St. Mary’s is the place where all of this happens. We are here to help you. To pray with you, bring you the Eucharist, offer Jesus’ reconciliation in Divine love and mercy, and where we reach out to assist others.
As we celebrate our first Christmas together, I want you to know that Jesus is present here in so many ways. I pray for all of you every day. I am privileged to be the shepherd of St. Mary’s, you are my greatest gift this year!
I also want to share that we will fully celebrate the Christmas Season as a parish. With so much darkness and negativity, we need as much time as possible to reflect on the light of Christ coming into our world. Our decorations will continue to inspire us through February 2, and even our songs at mass will have Christmas carols up until February 2 as well. We need to slow down, take it in and let Jesus be born.
Let’s allow this ‘different Christmas’ to be the most meaningful yet.