“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
…the yoke that burdened them, …You have smashed.
…For unto us a child is born, a son is given.
Upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:1,3 & 6)
Christmas is the celebration that proclaims that our God has come not just to sympathize with us, but to save us, to deliver us from the power of the evil one, to redeem us, to forgive our deepest, darkest sins, to break the habits of sin and to heal the many wounds sin has caused in our lives. Even at his birth there is a promise of this victory. He came to heal the brokenness and divisions in our hearts, in our families, and in the Church. He did not stop there. He came to adopt us into his divine family, and to radically transform our lives, giving us a new identity as his sons and daughters. He wants to empower us and to send us out as his “missionary disciples” to announce that the Lord who came in humility is coming soon in glory.
“DO NOT BE AFRAID;
For behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the peoples.”
“For today in the city of David
A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN FOR YOU
WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD” (Lk 2:10-11).
This year has been profoundly marked by Covid-19. We have suffered the loss of loved ones. We have been deprived of the Sacraments and have been isolated from each other, and even fearful of being in one another’s company. The whole world is in a major financial crisis. Yet this has also been a time to repent and be more deeply converted from worldly pursuits to begin to seek first the Kingdom of God. Life on this earth is fragile and short. We are made for eternity.
All of us have had to make many adjustments in our lives. Here at St A’s we have worked hard to nourish all of you through online daily Masses & Rosaries, weekly scripture studies & prayer meetings, while at the same time trying to encourage all who are able to safely return to weekly in-person Sunday Mass and regular confession.
In the midst of all this we have much to give thanks for. l give thanks to the Lord for sending a true brother, friend and fellow worker in Fr Peter. I am particularly grateful for his clear teaching and joyful spirit. I thank God for the prayerful company of my brother priests in the rectory, Fr Louis, Fr Marcellinus, & Fr Stephen.
I want to offer a heartfelt thank you for my office staff: Teresa, Eileen & Cassilda, for their sacrificial generosity in continuing to work so hard even while being furloughed these past 4 months. Thank you Dianne for helping to make the rectory a home through cooking with such love.
I give praise to God for all of you in this community who have gone the extra mile to serve the Lord and to build up this parish. I particularly give thanks for the generous service of our dedicated camera crew, Kenwyn our music director, our Liturgy preparation team, catechists and altar servers. Finally, I am grateful for all of you prayer warriors who continually storm heaven for all of us.
Even though the world is consumed by bad news and all of the fears associated with that news, we have the Good News which we must proclaim. Our God is with us and He is preparing us for his final coming! May this Good News enter you deeply this Christmas season. Let it guide and empower you into the new year, and into Eternity.
As we enter into the New Year, which Pope Francis has declared the Year of St Joseph, let us hear our Holy Father’s plea to welcome St Joseph into our lives and into our families in a new way. St Joseph, the Head of the Holy Family and the Patron of the Universal Church, is also the “Terror of Demons.”
Especially in these evil times, in which God is allowing a profound shaking and sifting of the Church and all of society, St Joseph will help calm our fears and bring us to a more profound docility to our Lord.
On January 1st we will be starting our 33-day preparation for a consecration to St Joseph. Our Consecration day will be on February 2nd - the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Our devotion to St Joseph is for our benefit, but will also be for the protection and salvation of our families. So, join us as we journey together with St Joseph.
You remain in our prayers. Let us keep each other in prayer
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity (fear), but of power, love and self control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
In Jesus thru Mary (& St Joseph),
PS Although we have had to furlough all of our office staff for the past 4 months due to our reduced weekly income, we hope to reinstate them soon into the new year. Thank you for remembering St Antoninus in your tithe to the Lord.