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Pastor's Letter 20231225 - 25 December 2023 - Christmas Day

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December 25th, 2024

Christmas Day


A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “God’s Word Made Flesh”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Isaiah 52:7-10)  Isaiah’s great hymn of exultation at the return of the exiles from Babylon, is also a poem of joy for our redemption,  Modern Christians must grasp the important truth that our salvation in Christ is in direct continuity with God’s saving work in Israel.


(Hebrews 1:1-6)  The whole history of God’s dealings with His people was a preparation for the coming of His Son at a particular moment in history.  God no longer speaks in fragments, through prophets, but through His Jesus Christ!  As the High Priest of the New Covenant, He has achieved purification of sin; in the Son and only in the Son was sin wholly expiated.  


(John 1:1-18)  The beginning of John’s Gospel can be said to be the entire bible, in miniature.  It is a great hymn to the Word of God, the Source of all life, Whose becoming “flesh” among us, and undoing the sin of the world, makes us children of God.   John tells us Jesus is the “new Eden,” the “new Temple,” the “restored creation” and the realization of God’s intention for the world.


 The Miracle of Christmas

Whether we are conscious of it, or not, our lives are interconnected.  As the poet, John Donne once wrote, “No man is an island; each is a part of the continent.”  Yet, the world remains divided—by class; race; creed; political persuasion and nationality.  So, what is it, we might ask, that unites us?

When a tragedy occurs in a community (like the world witnessed during the horrors of 9/11,) suddenly, the “barriers” are pushed aside.  All at once there are no strangers; no rich people; no poor people; no Christians, Muslims or Jews—just “brothers and sisters” coming together to help each other “get through” the catastrophe—ordinary citizens working together with first responders, in a “symphony” of unity.  

The Christmas season is another time when “barriers” seem to be pushed aside—a time, during which a great “leveling” seems to occur, wherein people don’t feel necessarily superior or inferior to one other.  Elitism tends to take a “back seat” to fellowship.  

Christmas doesn’t reduce everyone to some “common denominator,” however, as when people might share the same hospital ward, or prison cell.  It achieves its “leveling” not by lowering us, but by lifting us.  Just as a rising tide lift all boats in a harbor, so Christmas also elevates us, as if we were on a high plateau.

At this time of year, people all over the world gather together in a great universal fellowship, in the name of our Blessed Lord, Jesus.  We begin to experience what can be possible in the brotherhood and sisterhood of all human beings.  Christ turns foreigners into neighbors; strangers into families. This is the “Christmas Miracle.”  

Feeling “at one” with one another also tends to make us “reach out” to others—removing us of our “narrow world,” if only temporarily, and breaking our selfish habits.  We are enabled to recognize selfishness and prejudice for what they are—human weaknesses.  We are put “in touch” with our common humanity; sharing both our hopes and fears.

In this way, Christmas brings about a wonderful happiness.  Also, it can be disturbing—in that it upends the “priorities” by which many of us live.  While we normally look for happiness within ourselves, and accumulate material things to find satisfaction, Christmas inspires us to “give from our largesse,” to come together, and open our hearts to one another to find happiness.  We seek “community” and “sharing,” rather than individualism and hoarding.

When we are praised, say, for winning an award, we experience temporary joy, springing from the fact that we feel superior, stronger, faster or smarter, in some way.  True joy really springs from a feeling of being “the same as others”—weak, fragile and mortal!  This is the joy of belonging to the human race….  It’s the joy of being with others as friends, companions and fellow travelers on the path of life….

This is the “Christmas Miracle.”  God has become like us, in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is “with us”—our “Emmanuel.”  He has made us His friends and companions on the road to His Kingdom.  This is what is meant by becoming “one with Him”—removing the “distance” between us.

In this special season, the world becomes a “friendlier” place, over all.  It shines with meaning and hope, and we are given a sense of a living bond with another world.  We are a part of the “great joy” that was announced to the shepherds so long ago, that is now announced to us:  “Today, a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ, the Lord.”

May God Richly Bless You!



Promise, The.docx

To view a recording of today's Holy Mass, click here:

Edited by Father Michael
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