In this Christmas season, like the little drummer-boy in the Christmas carol, “I have no gift to bring”, like Peter and John standing before the man crippled from birth at the “Beautiful Gate” in the Temple, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean,” (Acts 3:6) I call down upon you all, in prayer, the grace of God. A sort of jubilee grace. The grace of healing of your mind and heart of all the wounds inflicted upon you in the past. The grace to forgive yourselves and everyone who has offended you in the past. The grace of a faith so deep and a hope so firm, that you will live the year that opens before us in an abiding, quiet, unshakeable, deep down joy that nothing can take from you, no matter what comes. The grace of deliverance from everything that is inhibiting your potential to love.
Bottom line, what I want for you all is simply happiness. But in my experience, given the fact that we cannot realistically hope for abiding happiness from good fortune, the only true happiness, the only abiding happiness is that which proceeds from faith and hope, from healing and forgiveness, and from the power of love, all of which come from outside of us; all of which are grace. And so the best I can do for you is to ask these graces of God for you, in this Christmas season, in the New Year, and always.
Immanuel. In Jesus, may God the Father be with you always.
I was so impressed by the quality of our parish reconciliation service on Wednesday December 20th, that I feel the need to thank Theresa de Ocampo, Kris Simpao, the Handmaids of the Lord, and the Knights of Columbus, and any others who worked with them and of whom I’m not aware, for their generosity and their tremendously professional work. Thank you, and God bless you for this precious service to our parish.