December 30, 2018
Jan 4, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord's family,
A little boy was helping his dad with decorating the tree (by now taking it down). He asked his dad: "what does it mean to ignore?" His dad mentioned that it meant not pay attention, to avoid people. The little boy answered, why do we ignore Jesus? the dad was puzzled, well, I don't think we should ignore Him. Why do you say that? In Church we sing: O come, let us ignore Him, o come, let us ignore Him!
Here are some folks who did not ignore Him. These are the feast days during the Octave of Christmas: December 26, the Feast Day of St. Stephen, a deacon, the first martyr killed for preaching about Jesus to the crowds. He ended up by saying, forgive them, Father, they don't know what they are doing. December 27 is the Feast Day of St. John, the Apostle. Even though he is not a martyr technically, he was put in burning oil and survived, so we can see his witness as martyrdom. December 28, the feast of the Holy Innocents, the children killed by Herod who tried to make sure that Jesus was not a threat to him. December 29, the feast of St. Thomas Becket who had to make a choice between Henry VIII and faithfulness to Christ and the Church. He too gave his life for Christ. Dec. 30 we celebrate the Holy Family, wo are witnesses to families on how to live in harmony. Dec. 31, the feast of St. Sylvester, a pope, who led the church in the early days. January 1, the Solemnity of Mary the Holy Mother of God. What a blessing she has been to all of us by her love for the Lord and His followers. January 2, we have the witness of the great Doctors of the Church, St. Basil, the Great, and St. Gregory of Nazianzen, who defended the Church against the early heresies. January 3, we honor the Holy Name of Jesus, a reminder of the special use of His name. January 4, We honor St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first saint of the United States and January 5, St. John Neuman who was a visitor to our area.
We can do no better than to imitate these saints in our own faithfulness to God. May we be ready to give our life to our Lord.
Despite our faults and failings, we represent the hope of our times to change the world we live in as did those martyrs and holy saints.
Let's live our faith in this New Year. Fr. Nick