From the Pastor's Desk
May this season of Joy and Peace bring Love and Unity to your Families and to our Parish Community. Wishing you all a Grace filled Season of Christmas. Let Jesus be the reason for us to celebrate the Season. Lights and Trees should be taken down after Christmas Day and the lights should stay lit until The Epiphany (January 5, 2020) when Jesus was revealed as the light shining for the 3 kings and for us.
Loving, responsive obedience to God, as modeled for us in the Gospel by St. Joseph, is the central theme of today’s readings, with special emphasis on the Virgin Birth of Jesus.
In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah gives a sign from God to King Ahaz of Judah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (Is 7:14). Matthew considers this prophecy as one of the most descriptive and definite prophecies foretelling the future Messianic King, the Christ, who will be born as a descendant of David. The Refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 24), "Let the Lord enter; He is King of Glory" reminds us that we must choose to let Jesus enter our hearts to rule our lives, for God never forces us to receive His gifts. In the second reading, Paul asserts that Jesus was a descendant of David and thus the Messiah: "from David according to the flesh" (Rom 1:3). Paul explains that the only begotten Son of God, become Incarnate as Jesus, was revealed and established by the Father as Son of God in power by his Resurrection from the dead. Then Paul provides a sweeping summary of God’s mighty acts in history through Jesus Christ. Today’s Gospel, from Matthew, focuses on the person and role of Joseph. For Jesus to fulfill the Messianic prophecy given by Isaiah, Joseph had to, and freely did, accept Jesus as his son, making Jesus a legal descendant of David because Joseph was a descendant of David. Hence, Matthew makes it clear that Jesus was not the biological child of Joseph. But because Joseph was the husband of Mary at the time Jesus was born, Jesus was legally the son of Joseph and thus a descendant of David.
1) Like Joseph, we need to trust in God, listen to Him and be faithful. Although we may face financial problems, job insecurity, tensions in the family and health concerns, let us try to be like St. Joseph, trusting and faithful. Instead of relying on our own schemes to get us through life, let us trust in God and be strengthened by talking to Him in fervent prayer and by listening to Him speaking through the Bible.
2) We need to experience Emmanuel in our lives and change the world:The Good News and the consoling message of Christmas is that the Child Jesus still waits today to step into our hearts-your heart and mine-and to change us and the world around us by the beauty of God’s love, kindness, mercy and compassion. Let us take some time to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts and lives this week, so that God may change our world of miseries with the beauty of that love.
3) Do we have any gift for our "Birthday Boy?" Let us check to see if Jesus is on our list this Christmas and if we have a special gift in mind for him. A heart filled with love for God and our fellow-human beings is the birthday gift which Jesus really wants from us. Hence, let us prepare our heart for Jesus, filling it with love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness on this Christmas and every day of our lives.
4) Let us be a Christmas gift to others: The greatest gift we can give to those we love, is to have faith in them, believe in their dreams and try to help them realize them. We need to believe in the dreams of our husband, wife, children, parents, heroes, leaders and friends, then try our best to help them realize those dreams.