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From the Pastor

December 21, 2014

Dear Parishioners:

On Thursday we celebrate one of the most significant things that has ever happened from the beginning of time. We celebrate that our God loves us so much that He became one of us. He took on a body like ours. He was tempted to sin like us. He experienced our frustrations, anxieties, pain, disappointments etc. He became like us in everything but sin. This took place because God wants all of us to spend eternity with Him. What a God we have!

I often get frustrated at Christmas because I sense many of us go through the motions of what is expected of us during this season: giving gifts, putting up lights, decorating a tree, etc. Then we can get exhausted and we are glad it is over.  What helps me not to do these things just because "it is the thing to do,” is to reflect on why we do them.

As you give and receive gifts during this next week, may you consciously see them as a reflection, an extension, and a reminder of the gift our God has given to you. Whether it is a wallet, a sweater or tickets to the Eagles playoff game (I live in hope), may it be an outward sign of the gift of Jesus to us.

As we see lights in windows and on trees, etc., may they consciously remind us that Jesus is our light. We were in darkness because of our sins. St. Paul says that those who say they are without sin are liars. Due to our selfishness, we had no opportunity of heaven. Jesus came to destroy that death and restore our life. He came to being us from darkness to light. Jesus is our light. May all the lights we see remind us 
of that.

Concerning the Christmas Tree, (Saint) Pope John Paul II said, "It reminds us of 'the tree of life', representation of Christ, God's supreme gift to humanity." We decorate it as a sign of our joy and happiness. We place a star on the top in order to recall how the three kings followed the star to find Jesus and gave him significant gifts.  May the tree and lights remind us to bring the life of Christ and the light of Christ into a world that experiences darkness.

It is an old saying and it is a cliché, but it is true that "Jesus is the reason for the season". May our celebrations with family and friends, our gifts, our lights and our Christmas trees remind us of that.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Father Bill