Father Louis’ bulletin letter – 12/25/05
“The angel said to the shepherds: ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David, a Savior has been born for you who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger’” (Luke 2:10-12). Indeed, this Holy Infant, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, fills us – and through us the whole world – with joy and hope. When faced with the horrors of our day – the slaughter of the most innocent ones in the womb and those weakened by old age, terrorism and war, material and spiritual poverty, catastrophic natural disasters, to name just a few – we can be paralyzed by fear. With the birth of Jesus, however, the angel assures us that we need not be afraid! The good news is that “the Word of God, God the Son of God . . . has taken on our human nature to free us from eternal death” (Pope Saint Leo the Great, Sermon 1.2.1). May we who have been given the gift of faith embrace more fully the hope that is ours at the birth of the Savior!
In this mystery of the Incarnation – the Eternal Son of the Father taking on our human nature being born of the Virgin Mary – we believe that Jesus Christ is “the human face of God and divine face of man” (Pope John Paul II, The Church in America, 67). An encounter with this Jesus of Nazareth – the Incarnate Son of God – “brings about a profound transformation in all who do not close themselves off from him. The first impulse coming from this transformation is to communicate to others the richness discovered in the experience of the encounter. This does not mean simply teaching what we have come to know but also, like the Samaritan woman, enabling others to encounter Jesus personally: ‘Come and see’ (John 4:29). The result will be the same as that which took place in the heart of the Samaritans, who said to the woman: ‘It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world’ (John 4:42)” (Pope John Paul II, The Church in America, 68). If you find yourself having grown lukewarm after that original encounter with the Lord or having closed yourself off from Jesus of Nazareth – for whatever reason – I invite you: “Come and see!” Come to encounter Jesus Christ at Saint Peter’s! Come to meet the merciful Savior in the Sacrament of Penance! Come to meet the Incarnate Son of God who makes Himself present under the forms of bread and wine at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! Come to meet Him who is the Truth in study of the Word of God handed on in Scripture and Tradition! Come to meet the Crucified Lord in the persons of the young, the needy, the suffering, and the sorrowing!
“Today Christ was born; today the Savior appeared; today the angels sing on earth, the archangels rejoice; today the just exult, saying: Glory to God in the highest, alleluia” (Christmas Day, Evening Prayer II, Magnificat Antiphon). May you and your loved ones have a joyful and blessed Christmas! Be assured that the priests of Saint Peter’s – Fathers Worzalla and Sakowski and myself – keep you in our prayers in this holy season. Please pray for us! May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, watch over you and your family with her motherly care! And may our heavenly patron, Saint Peter, intercede powerfully for us!