From Father Steven - December 25th
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!! FELIZ NATAL!!!! JOYEUX NOËL!!!!!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, we never thought that the end of 2020 would ever arrive...maybe our desire to reach the end of the month of December was only to see if we would have our lives back to normal. Even though our lives are not back to normal, on the contrary, we still feel very much the effects of Covid-19, there is a reason for us to rejoice. The celebration of Christmas is more than a simple re- membrance of an event that happened 2000 years ago. What we celebrate this year is that God fulfilled all the promises of the Old Testament. That’s very nice, one might say, but how can that help us facing this difficult time? This reassures us that God is not indifferent to our sufferings. He loved us so much, that, for us man and our salvation, Christ became man. Our God knows exactly what is going on in our hearts, better than those around us and he comes to help us! As the prophet Isaiah says, “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (9:2).” We feel that we are walking in darkness at this time, and this Christmas comes to have the light of Christ shine upon us to gladden our hearts, to bring us comfort, to relieve the burdens we carry! Psalm 80 says, “Lord, let the light of your face shine upon us and we shall be saved.” Therefore, this light also comes to give us salvation, a new life, Eternal Life. The reason for which God became man was to save man and give man the possibility of becoming God. The celebration of Christmas is intimately connected with Easter, because this baby boy comes to give us his life for us! This is the ultimate proof of love, to lay down one’s life for his friends (Jn 15:13). And if God gives us His life, then He can also help us to deal with our current problems and sufferings. For those who are celebrating away from your loved ones, whether because of Covid or someone's passing, remember that Jesus was not alone at the time of his birth. We hear in the Gospels that there were angels singing giving Glory to God! Remember that these same angels also accompany you! For us Christians, we are never alone! I conclude this letter with the words from the Angels to the shep- herds, “DO NOT BE AFRAID; for behold, I PROCLAIM TO YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY that will be for all the people. For TODAY in the city of David A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN FOR YOU who is Christ and Lord”
On behalf of your Priests, the IC Parish Staff and Parish Community, we wish you a Holy Christmas to you and your loved ones.
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Father Steven Clemence