“YOUR NATIVITY, O CHRIST OUR GOD, HAS SHED THE LIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE UPON THE WORLD. THROUGH IT, THOSE WHO HAD BEEN STAR-WORSHIPERS LEARNED THROUGH A STAR TO WORSHIP YOU, O SUN OF JUSTICE, AND TO RECOGNIZE IN YOU THE ONE WHO RISES AND COMES FROM ON HIGH. O LORD, GLORY TO YOU!”

(A Christmas Sourcebook, p. 49)

Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ into our world. While his birth took place 2,000 years ago, he can be reborn in our hearts and lives every time we are as open to him as was Mary. As she was changed by his presence in her life, so are we changed because of the presence of Christ in ours. Christmas challenges us to recognize that the birth of Christ has radically changed humanity and the events of human history.

The manger scene reminds us of the humility of his birth, but it forces us to look beyond the statues to see the Christ who lived, died and rose for us all. The crib can only be seen in relation to the cross, for while the crib began his life as one of us, it is the cross that saved us all. Christmas inspires us to be more peaceful, more friendly, more caring. But Christmas is more than just a day, it is a season of joy, peace and gratitude to the Father for giving us the best gift he could – his Son.

The gifts we exchange are reminders of the gift we have already received; and while our gifts are signs of our friendship and love, THE gift reminds us of the sign that Jesus is for us. Christmas is about decorating our homes in celebration of the gift of the Christ. Christmas is also about family, and how we gather as families around the Lord’s Table to celebrate the Eucharist, and how we gather around our tables to celebrate our friendship and love. Of course, Christmas is about the food, and how we share the stories of our families with the food of the season. During Christmas, there are certain foods in our diverse traditions that are only made at this time of year. All of this tells us how important we are to our God, and to each other. The challenge for us is to continue the spirit of Christmas each day of the year.

There are too many of us who find the Christmas Season difficult, for one reason or another. In the spirit of the season, it is good to reach out to these folks who may be our family, our friends, our neighbors, and help them experience the peace of the Prince of Peace. This always helps both of us, and helps us appreciate this time of year even more. Christmas offers us an opportunity to discover that Emmanuel, God with us, is waiting for us to celebrate his presence in our lives, so that we can extend to one another his peace and joy that fills the world and all of us!

In the name of our entire Parish & School Staffs: FR. SILVANO, FR. EVERST, FR. JOHN, DEACON ART, DEACON JERRY, DEACON DAN, NANCY CAPUTO, KIM MAILLEY, MATT WILSON, ANASTASIA PATRIGNANI, CAROLINE PONTERIO, OUR SUPPORT STAFF & MYSELF, I want to wish you and your families A MERRY, JOYFUL & PEACE FILLED CHRISTMAS. May this season celebrate the gift of Jesus to us and the opportunity we have to experience Emmanuel each day of our lives!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! BUON NATALE!!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

~ FR. JOE!

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