Christmas Message

Once again we will gather together with family and friends to hear the story of Jesus’ birth: the blessed night when shepherds made haste to see the baby, whose story had been foretold by the prophets. More than two thousand years later we see people all around us also making haste: trying to find time and money to get a gift that will please someone, trying to decorate so home will feel like a happy place alive with light and joy, trying to prepare a meal so loved ones will gather together, talk and spend time.
However, just like the shepherds, whose most important moment came when they finally arrived and paid homage to Jesus, the highlight of Christmas time for all of us is when we come together, in the presence of Christ. It is fitting that we begin the celebration at mass where Jesus is present to us today, as real for us, body, soul and divinity as He was for those shepherds long ago. That is the gift of Christmas that we all receive when we come here. Jesus is waiting here for us and, through the Eucharist, becomes a part of who we are, so we can, in turn, become a gift to those around us.
A popular commercial this holiday season reminds me of how we are all gifts to one another. It shows packages being loaded onto a plane, and, yes, every box has a smile on it! Do you know which one I’m talking about? It is for Amazon. Even the song will get stuck in your head: “Give a little bit of my love to you”. The happy packages are being shipped all over the world; each one an attempt by one person to make someone’s Christmas, to show them they are not forgotten and that they are special.
Long before Amazon streamlined our gift giving processes, Jesus came to us, the Son of God: The Father’s gift of love and mercy to each and every one of us. His coming brought light into the world, the shepherds finding Him by following a star. Every day, in the Eucharist, Jesus comes to us, to cleanse us, strengthen us and perfect us. Then, in turn, we become gifts to one another. Throughout his ministry Jesus was present to the people, all people, who came to Him. As disciples, we need to be present to one another and offer love, compassion and mercy to all the people God has placed in our lives.
This Christmas, when you see smiling faces around you, remember to thank God for all the gifts he has given you and me: the gift of His Son Jesus, the gift of family, where love is born, nurtured and brought to perfection and the gift of one another. We celebrate today the wonderful blessing of Jesus present here with us, giving us the grace we need to bring love alive in our little part of the world.



Fr. Marcos


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