December- January Epistle Message

With Covid restrictions lifted, we should be filled with gladness we will not be hindered to celebrate Christmas this year. But what is Christmas really? The word “Christmas” conjures up warm feelings of family, togetherness, warmth and love.  It also reminds us that Christ is the singular most important part of the word. In English, the word refers to “Christ’s Mass” which is the Liturgy for our Catholic brothers and sisters. In Greek, Χριστουγεννα – Hristougenna, simply means, “Christ’s birth”.

Christmas can also cause a great deal of stress if we allow it. When we remove our focus from Jesus and don’t prepare to receive the Christ-child by fasting, almsgiving and participating in as many worship services as possible, yes, we will become stressed. If we allow ourselves to become distracted by the secularization of Christmas and translate “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays”; if we sing songs that don’t refer to Christ instead of “Silent Night” and if we allow Christmas Eve to pass without lighting a candle and receiving the baby Jesus with Holy Communion, we will be stressed.

The alternative is much more wonderful!  Remove the secular meaning of Christmas from your heart for a moment. Approach the manger in humble adoration and embrace Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, making Him the cornerstone of your life. Let us focus on our “finest gifts” which come from the heart and are emblazed with selfless love.

May we all allow the Prince of Peace to enter our lives this Christmas, keeping a permanent residence in the manger, which is our home, throughout the year.  

I pray this Christmas, followed by the New Year is filled with good health, spiritual joy, prosperity, and faith in the Christ-child who is the Light of the World.

With brotherly love,

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