Friday, December 16, 2016

Signs of Christmas

Dear Parishioners,

It’s getting harder and harder to find Christmas cards with a religious image on it. There are plenty of cards with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, snow covered landscapes, holly, and colorful decorations. But something with Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the Magi, the Shepherds, and the Star is hard to find. I guess it’s more politically correct to turn Christmas into a seasonal celebration than a religious remembrance. Still, we might try to put Christ back in the season by saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

Since the beginning of time, people have looked to God for signs. It might be for a sign of guidance in making a decision about a vocation, where to go to high school or college, where to live, or what the future holds. In the reading from Isaiah (Isaiah 7:10-14), God encourages King Ahaz to ask for a sign, but Ahaz is reluctant. His mind is made up, and he doesn’t want a sign from God which might tell him to pursue a different course of action. Nevertheless, God gives him a sign anyway “the virgin shall be with child and bear a son and shall name him Emmanuel.” This sign to Ahaz was also a sign to Israel and to the world of God’s love and his plan to send the Messiah to save the human race. This sign was finally realized in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s giving birth to Jesus (Matthew 1:18-24).

Since we have received the grace of this sign, Jesus Christ, we are called to be living signs of God’s love to all we meet. May we be good and welcoming signs to all.

- Fr. Carl

“Remember that when the priest gives you absolution, you
have but one thing to think of—that the Blood of the good
God is f lowing over your soul to purify it and make it as
bright as it was made by its Baptism.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars