From the Pastor's Desk
Today’s readings focus on the circumstances leading up to the first coming of Jesus, the event; which sets the pattern for his coming to us now and at the end of time. The Gospel stresses the key role of Mary in the work of our salvation. In addition, today’s Scripture texts describe God’s promise to David and its fulfillment in Jesus, the Son of David. They also tell us that God’s preparation for the coming of Jesus was full of surprises.
The unfolding of God’s plan of salvation though history has contained many surprises. The first reading surprises us by telling of God’s promise to David that he would have a long line of royal descendants culminating in a final King, Jesus Christ. In the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 89), the Psalmist recalls all of God’s promises and surprises us, describing God’s promise to David and his descendants in terms of a Covenant. The second reading surprises us as well with Paul’s explanation of the unveiling of God’s plan for human salvation through Jesus. Today’s Gospel surprises us by telling us that this final King would be born to an ordinary virgin, not by means of sexual relationship, but through the Holy Spirit, and that this Son of God, Jesus, would become a descendant of David. This would occur through Joseph, Mary’s betrothed husband and the legal father of her son, as Joseph was "of the House of David." The Gospel narrative also surprises us by reminding us that God’s promise is best fulfilled not in buildings, or even in great kings like Solomon, but rather in humble souls like Mary who trusted in God’s promise
1) We need to say a courageous and generous “yes” to God: True obedience comes from a free choice made in the light of what is true and good. It often requires a great deal of courage because it can involve going against the tide of social expectations. True obedience also aims at putting oneself at the service of something/Someone that is greater than oneself by accepting what God clearly wants us to do or what He wants to do through us. It is by saying, with Jesus and Mary, a wholehearted and totally unconditional “Yes” to Jesus that he will be re-born in me or maybe even born in me for the first time. By my saying “Yes,” Jesus will be born or re-born in others too.
2) We need to try to learn God’s plan for our lives: The Good News in today’s Scripture message is not only that God is making provision for the salvation of His people, but also that He has a plan for each individual person. In many cases, our work for God seems rather ordinary, but each ordinary task, which we carry out, fits into God’s plan in ways that we cannot yet understand. God desires not only the skill of our hands and talents, but the love of our hearts. The Babe in the Manger reminds us of what God has done and is still doing for us. What are we doing for Him in return? Let us show our gratitude to God by living as true followers of Christ: “Behold, here I am Lord! I come to do Your will.”
Once again the celebration of Christmas offers the opportunity to extend to all of you best wishes for the holy feast of Christmas. May Emmanuel—God with us—fill everyone with his presence and his grace.
This event of God among men—at the heart of the Christian message—means that the God of the Bible is faithful to his promises and that he never disappoints us, because he loves with a special love the creature that comes forth from his own hands. This is also the experience that the people of Israel had in their long and difficult journey to the Promised Land. The assurance of God given to Moses on Mount Horeb, “I will be with you (Ex 3:12),” will mark the history of the people of the Covenant in good times and in bad, as it marks our own. This promise will be realized in the birth of the Savior in the stable at Bethlehem, thereby filling the need for the infinite present in the heart of every person.
This is my Second Christmas that I celebrate with you and I appreciate and thank everyone for your support and prayers for me and Fr. Edwin. We look forward to continue our commitment in serving you for your spiritual needs.
As we welcome 2018, we continue to be good stewards of God’s gifts (makana) to us. Time, Talents and Treasure you share for our parish community will bear fruit by making ourselves good Disciples of Jesus our King.
May this Christmas bring a breath of fresh air into the heart of each one of us and into our Parish community—a breath of fresh air that has the flavor of a shared sincere solidarity, of effective collaboration, of mutual respect, of love and of forgiveness received and offered with joy.
Once again on behalf of Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, we wish you “MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BLESSED NEW YEAR”.