4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day
This is our last bulletin for December until the 21st of January. As you know too well from experience, Advent and especially the few days preceding Christmas, seems to be lived by many people, even Christians, as a time of hectic tidying up, of running around meeting deadlines, a time of shopping to buy many presents for many people. Yet, let us not lose sight of the fact that the only true Christmas Present is the one God our Father gave us: Jesus, His beloved Son and the second Person of the Holy Trinity, our Saviour.
How did the Blessed Virgin Mary live her first Advent? How did she prepare her first Christmas with Joseph? When they arrived in Bethlehem with no place to stay, nobody to welcome them, they ended up in a stable…
It is indeed in poverty that Jesus, Son of God, the “Word made flesh”, was born on our earth. Mary and Joseph became the first Christian married couple. Yet, seeing God made flesh in front of them away from the noise of the world, filled their hearts with joy. Likewise, in spite of all the hardships of our life, our loneliness at times, Jesus is now present among us with flesh and bones! This is the mystery of Christmas which we can believe in because God infuses in us the gift of Faith at our baptism.
The meaning of Christmas could be summed up in the verse from St John’s Gospel: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting” (John 3:16)
The way He manifested His loving mercy toward the poor sinners that we are was by choosing a virgin woman whom He made Immaculate from conception. Mary’s body became the first living and holy tabernacle of the presence of God in the flesh.
During this busy Christmas time, don’t hesitate to swing by a church to adore Jesus in silence as Mary and Joseph did; our Lord “lies” inside the tabernacle (our permanent crib!) just for us to come and adore away from the noise of the world. Are not St Joseph and our Lady, who adored and contemplated Jesus in silence, the model of married couples and an inspiring example of prayer for their children?
The Brothers wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Holy Year 2017. Fr.Antoine