Peace and Goodness!
Today, we have entered another new year in the life of the Church. The green colored vestments and linens that use to decorate our ordinary Sundays will be kept temporarily. The air will soon be filled with tidings of peace and joy. As we wait for that day when seemingly the world stops in adoration of the child Christ, let us prepare ourselves to welcome the coming of our Lord in the simplicity of our hearts’ stable. From now until the church choirs all around the world sings Hallelujah to the King that was born let us silently ask our heavenly Father to fill our hearts with longing for His kingdom.
Christmas is the time of the year when everything is covered with newness. Bright light shines, love abounds everywhere and gift-giving is the language that everybody speaks in unison. Nevertheless, there are many times that we are easily drawn by the glitter of secular festiveness that we forget the real reason why there’s such a joyous memorial. What used to be a simple occasion, which started in the humble stable of Nazareth, is often times clouded by extravagance.
I remember so many wonderful Christmas mornings growing up in a simple town, far from the noise of the city yet so close to the heart of the celebration. In those days, children had simple wishes. I had a simple wish – to see Santa Clause bringing my gift. It is funny now but way back I remember waiting for him each year. Then of course I learned that it was not Santa Clause who is the spirit of Christmas but the baby boy in the poor manger. And every year since then, I became more and more drawn to the self-less giving of God through the incarnation of His Son, Jesus. And when I became a priest, that exact act of giving of God became my daily inspiration. It was filled with challenges but nevertheless it is a life worth waking up to every new morning. This year is my first Christmas here at Saint Mark and Parish Communities. Indeed, I have so many blessings to thank for this year. There are many challenges ahead as a priest in general, but I know that the grace of God is greater than anything else and that your prayers and support will be the pillars of my strength, and for all of these I thank God for the gift of you. As we look forward to celebrate the birth of Christ, let us be reminded that Jesus, the Word Incarnate, came into the world so that we may have life in abundance. Let us pray for one another. God bless you and your family. May you have all a meaningful Advent Season!