A Very Merry Christmas!

12-31-2017From Our PastorFr. Brian Jazdzewski

I'm convinced that the sentiments of many are that our celebrations of Christmas were prayerful, reflective, joyous, worthy, etc. The celebrations I'm referring to include our local Masses, but also our personal celebrations with families and friends. "In every heart may we continue to prepare Him room," not just at Christmas, but in every day of our lives. We are blessed to be called by Him from our baptism to follow Him and deepen our relationship with Him each day of our lives!

Personally, I was quite uneasy about the close proximity of the Christmas Masses to the weekend Masses. Now that its passed, I know the quick succession of Masses aided my prayerful disposition and reduced a lot of anxiety waiting for the Christmas Masses to begin. I was sort of in an automatic pilot mode of prayer beginning on Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. Thanks be to God!

I'm also really delighted in the quick work of countless volunteers who prepared for the Christmas season. Most immediately, those volunteers included people at each of our churches tripping over each other to decorate our buildings. At each place there were returning faces and new faces who worked within the spirit of the season to beautify our spaces. Commitment like that is what keeps our parishes alive. Thanks to those who helped decorated along with those who will remove the decorations when the time comes.

For those who elected to attend the Midnight Mass, we were treated with music and songs which truly glorified God. These individuals, under the direction of Deacon Wendt, committed to countless hours of rehearsal in preparation for the Midnight Mass. Perhaps you will join me in encouraging them to remain active on, at least a monthly basis, to lead us in song and prayer. Perhaps the Holy Spirit of Christmas will inspire musicians and singers in each of our parishes to enrich this important piece of liturgical life. Maybe in each of our parishes we can renew the customs of choirs and an assortment of musicians. As a side note, there are numerous parishes in our diocese which rely upon recorded music playing from the church instruments. In those places, some aspects of vibrant parish life are diminished because the weekend music "is not that good." In our case, we need to be grateful to the LIVE music and singers; an aspect of parish life which has, and will continue, to keep the Spirit alive and well. So, thanks to the past, present and future musicians and vocalists who commit themselves to using their God-given gifts to praise Him in our churches.

The role of each and every one of us who has been washed in the waters of baptism is to allow the reality of the Incarnation to renew and strengthen our lives. Like Joseph and Mary, we have been called by God to place Jesus at the center of our lives. In some profound spiritual way, God has and will continue to act upon our souls to strengthen us in our call. In whatever ways we are able, we respond to His action and live as His faithful witnesses.