Blessed Christmas and Feast of the Holy Family!
One of my favorite times of the year is the beautiful season of
Christmas: the joy expressed in the readings and prayers, the beautiful
hymns — so many things that call to mind the joy that we should always
feel in the coming of the Christ Child.
Yet for some people, Christmas is a difficult season (it probably will be for
me, this year) because they are mourning the death of a loved one, and
maybe it is the first (or second) Christmas without that special person. It
is important that we always try to keep and share the joy of the birth of
the Son of God, and the joy of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, while
also being sensitive to the fact that “joy is mingled with grief” (to quote
Tolkien) for many of those around us. So how do we handle such an
apparent conflict — by a loving presence, and a willingness to listen in a
real, heart to heart sharing. In other words, we need to share the joy
that we have, and also be present to those who may not feel the same
joy due to the losses and hardships in their lives.
This Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Family (it is always the Sunday after
Christmas), a day in which we honor the Holy Family of Nazareth, and
hear the call of God to model our family life on that of Jesus, Mary and
Joseph. Is God the center of our families? Does He have first place in our
lives, in our use of time? Is God clearly present in our homes? If
someone visits us, do they see that this is a Catholic home, and that the
Lord Jesus is the center of our family life? One key thing is that we make
time to pray together as a family: it can be a family rosary, or Scripture
reading, or some other devotional practice, but the saying is true that
“the family that prays together, stays together.” May this Feast of the
Holy Family inspire all of us to seek to model our lives on those of our
Lord Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph!
With warmest Christmas greetings from myself, Fr. Joel, Fr. Peter, and
our deacons and staff,
26 December 2021 – PASTOR’S CORNER