As I mentioned yesterday, I am reprinting the Christmas message that my brother Joe, (Fr. Dennet) sent out this year. I hope it gives you encouragement and peace as we approach Christmas.
“Peace be with you”, Family and Friends,
Not many of us have weathered these past ten months of 2020 without some bodily or emotional distress. We may not have been infected with the Covid 19 virus, but most of us have experienced the suffering of feeling the pain of losses others had to endure because of the pandemic. None of us have escaped the frustration of rampant social and political unrest, tensions in our States, and the recurring uneasiness among world powers in their relationships with one another. We may be tempted to hide behind our masks and crawl away from this harsh reality into a hideout of self-pity and whining pessimism. Thank God for Christmas and the ever- resonating message of hope and happiness it brings. God dwells not only among us but with us and within us! That is the Good News, the Gospel promise.
“Be not afraid’ is the powerful prescription from our Sacred Scriptures that gives us comfort. God is near; God is here! Let our lives be open to this promise of the Incarnation and embrace it, and let it be done to us as God wills. We can let this be the formula for our life choices – engaging in positive and cheerful conversations initiating hope-filled and compassionate relationships, offering optimistic perspectives in our day-to-day dialogues, living graciously and gratefully amid disappointments – thus bringing to all we meet the healing for which we all long. And all this with a smile!
Each one of us trying to be the Gospel message is the only effective way, as I see it, to change and heal the atmosphere of mistrust, fear, and incivility that along with the Covid virus is the pandemic that threatens to estrange us from one another and from God. “Let it be done to me as You say” and “not my will but Yours be done” are faith-filled and comforting prescriptions for living and witnessing fulfilling, joyful, and peace-generating lives. Not an easy challenge, but the message is worth embracing. May each of us be the Christmas gift that keeps on giving! May we become who we were made to be, sisters and brothers of the Word-Made-Flesh, disciples of the King of peace, and faithful companions on the journey of life. Merry Christmas!”