As we enter into a New Year, let’s not look back upon all the challenges and say “good riddance,” but rather give thanks to our Heavenly Father for his love and his hand in helping us manoeuvre through it.
Sometimes our individual journey is dark, and it feels as if we are alone. Yes, we don’t see him, but know that God has it all under control – we only need to call upon him.
9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Thank Jesus for being with us always even when we can’t see or feel him.
Let us be mindfully in the moment and give thanks. We can look to 2023 with the assurance that God is faithful.
May God’s blessings follow you into 2023. I pray for each to grow deeper in faith, love Jesus more, know him more intimately, as well as walk in his will more closely. 🙏❤️
On this Christmas Eve, I would like to share this quote by Pope Benedict XVI:
“God has done everything; he has done the impossible: he was made flesh. His all-powerful love has accomplished something which surpasses all human understanding: the Infinite has become a child, has entered the human family. And yet, this same God cannot enter my heart unless I open the door to him.”
–Pope Benedict XVI
Let us open the door to him, and share this story to all those around us. Let us pray that Jesus will enter the hearts of those who don’t know him.
Going into a Catholic Church during Advent fills my soul with quiet wonderment as I gaze upon the Nativity Scene.
Kneeling before the manger, I recall a time when we would perform the nativity story for our parents and church congregation. It was a season of anticipation, of going from home to home, of festivities, food and baked goods, and different communities joined together in sharing in Christmas joy.
Our home was was opened to people from church. The first thing that would greet them is the smell of baked goods, and home made fruit cake which my dad gave out to families and friends. The joy of the season was also going to one another’s homes and carolling/singing Christmas songs. My favourite part of carolling would be the hot chocolate and treats our host prepared. The highlight of Christmas would be a candlelight service, where hymns were sung along with the Nativity play. All the kids would dress up and retell the story of the birth of Jesus. Always told with a bit of clumsiness and a tender heart.
The humble Holy family surrounded by shepherds and wisemen on a starlit night was a story retold year after year.
There is a rustic beauty as I gaze upon baby Jesus lying in white linen against the coarse backdrop of an old stable.
Watching this scene are sheep, donkeys, mule, cows – all in for the night. I imagine the barnyard smell of dry hay and animals. There is Mary and Joseph gazing with adoration upon this miracle from God – a baby is born into a world – our Savior. He is both Divine and human (now let’s try to wrap our heads around this), sent by the Father to redeem all mankind.
Let’s not let this beautiful story be untold in our world. Let this story not be forgotten, and let us share it even if it’s politically incorrect. This story tells of the birth of Jesus, born to a virgin who said, “Yes”, to God.
Borrowing a phase coined by the Archbishop of Montreal, Most Reverend Christian Lépine, “The door to the manger is always open”, I wish to greet all with a joyous and “Happy Christmas Eve”.
Let us unite together from all across our globe and rejoice with a melody in our heart as we let the light of the Bethlehem star warm our hearts with faith, hope and love .
As in a time in antiquity when three wise men journeyed afar to meet Baby Jesus, and as Shepard minding their fields heard the joyful proclamation by the choral of angels – let us welcome our Saviour into the world with joy and thanksgiving.
Luke 1:10 – 14
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
As Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal reminds us,
Through this pandemic, let us always keep the door of our heart open, constantly keeping a look of kindness, inspired by the look of goodness that the child Jesus has for us,”
Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal
Let us start our day with a a prayer of thanksgiving, a smile and an inner glow within and without, as well as a spirit filled song in our hearts.
From Christmas Novena Prayer
The Birth Of Jesus In The Stable Of Bethlehem (Ninth Day)
O Adorable Infant Jesus! I should not have the boldness to cast myself at Your feet if I did not know that You Yourself invites me to draw near You.
It is I who by my sins have made You shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since You have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners, forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned You, my Savior and my God, who are so good and who has loved me so much.
In this night, in which You bestowest great graces on so many souls, grant Your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine also.
All that I ask of You is the grace to love You always, from this day forward, with all my heart. Set me all on fire with Your holy love. I love You, O my God, who has become a Babe for love of me. Never let me cease from loving You evermore.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, You can obtain everything from Your Son by Your prayers. This is the only favor I ask of You. Do You pray to Jesus for me. Amen.”