Christmas Message from Fr. Joe:
We the church, the people of God, center our life around and from…
We the church, the people of God, center our life around and from the communal worship of God in the sacraments. The church uses this life to gather the world together to participate in this central activity. This Christmas, during the continued pandemic of COVID-19 we are unable to gather as has always been our custom. The look, the sounds, are all somewhat different this Christmas. The meaning of the season, the reason of the season, JESUS, does now and shall forever remain constant. Christ is born! During our Christmas celebration of the nativity of the Lord, we rejoice in the incarnation of Christ, when the Word became flesh. That moment inspires such awe, no Covid 19 virus can extinguish it’s light. Indeed the light that conquerors the darkness may seem, may feel duller, less awe some this year. In fact it is not.
The response of you good people of Saint Joseph throughout this virus and throughout Advent has been keeping the light of faith very bright. Families and individuals have been reached out to. Hundreds of toys, a variety of clothing and a plethora of food have supported inner city parishes and Catholic Charities. Gift cards have supported members of our community and admission to local museums will eventually be used. Many thanks for your generosity.
Our church, inside and out, has been lit and decorated by a dozen or more who have sacrificed time, energy and finances. Decorating could not occur per usual by open house invite. No, O Come all Ye faithful had to be restricted in teams of two & on scheduled intervals. And yet, beautifully decorated we are. Thank you to all who contribute throughout Christmastide to make the season beautiful and bright. We prayerfully remember loved ones in whose memory flowers, greens, candles and tapestries, lights and electric bill are donated. Though somewhat modified this year there are also a few additions. A remembrance tree outside a donation bequest of Romuld Chavest, the nativity at the altar in memory of Katie & the O’Sullivan Families the gold & white banners made by Sr Agnes and additional lights and wreaths are in memory of the Devine family and John & Ann Greene.
(Please read my Christmas homily & written gift after Christmas mass which includes more extensive gratitude)
For us, God has become a gift. He has given himself. He has entered time for us. He has assumed our time and raised it to himself on high. Christmas has become the feast of gifts in imitation of God who has given himself to us. Let us allow our heart, our soul, our mind, our entire parish, indeed our entire world to be touched by this very fact.
Our celebration of Christmas actually has more than 12 days. Our Christmas season extends until the baptism in the Lord. The three Sundays after Christmas celebrate the holy family, Epiphany, and finally the baptism of the Lord on January 10. Let us celebrate the light, the hope, the healing that the birth of our Lord has always brought into our world.
Please be assured of our prayers here at Saint Joseph’s especially for any for whom this Christmas is fragile, challenging, difficult or sad.
Christmas Season Blessings and Gratitude
Appreciation and prayers