Christmas 2011

Dear Friends,

“Today a light will shine upon us, for the Lord is born for us; and he will be called Wondrous God, Prince of Peace, and Father of future ages: and his reign will be without end.”  (Is. 9:1, 5 and Lk. 1:33)   With these words the Sacred Liturgy announces the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ on Christmas Day.   It is truly a joyous day in which we join Christians all over the world in welcoming into our hearts the King and Ruler of all creation born of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   I hope this Christmas finds you and your family in good health and grace.  

It has been nearly six months since my appointment to this parish and this is our first Christmas together.   My heart is full of gratitude to God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon this parish community in this last year.   My thoughts turn to our love and dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is our most powerful advocate and guide.   She leads us to Jesus and in turn comes to the aid of her sons and daughters.   As we honor her Son on his birthday we remember and honor His most holy Mother.  

I am particularly proud of the work the St. Elizabeth Society has been able to accomplish.   In September I established this group to advocate for Dignity of Human Life and serve as the vehicle of charity for our parish.   While we are the beneficiaries of great blessings and favors from God, we recognize that it is our duty to return that love to our brothers and sisters in need.  In the past few months we have assisted at the Mother Theresa Shelter for the Homeless, at Faith House and at Hope House.  We have painted homes and apartments, donated food items, clothing, blankets and towels.   We have assisted the Sisters who serve at Mother Teresa Shelter.  We have lead prayers for the end to the evil sin of abortion and raised awareness in defense of the dignity of human life.  This is only the beginning.  I hope to increasingly give us all opportunities to serve our brothers and sisters in need. 

Celebrating the Nativity of the Lord Jesus gives us the opportunity to once again return to the true spirit and joy of this blessed season.  The danger for us is to get too caught up into the commercialized holiday that we forget the heart of what we celebrate.   The greatest sin today of our modern culture is the sin of complacency and indifference.   Many are satisfied with stripping this holy season of Jesus Christ; we must fight that temptation and bring Christ to the center of our celebrations.   You and I must be witnesses of the Lord Jesus, reminding all our neighbors and friends to the great birthday celebration of the Lord.   Today, Christmas has become the season of materialism and indulgence.    We must make it a season of faith and charity, announcing to the world the great love and mercy of God.  Only then can we rediscover true spirit of Christmas.      

As you gather with your family and friends, consider the lights of the Christmas tree and those outside your home the hidden symbol of Jesus Christ, the “Light of the World”.   Allow the light of Christ to penetrate deep into your hearts and souls so that rediscovering your faith, renewing your commitment to Him, and reliving the mysteries we celebrate, you will truly have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

May the Infant Child Jesus and his most Blessed Mother grant you the joy and peace of this holy season and keep you and your loved ones safe.   Wishing you a Blessed Christmas, I remain

Yours in the Lord Jesus,
Fr. Rodolfo D. Vásquez


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