Christmas is only three weeks away! It is easy for the weeks to pass quickly as we shop for gifts, prepare for guests, and plan our meals. However, be sure to create some time and space to listen, reflect, and pray. Setting aside 20-30 minutes to do this is extremely powerful and will even slow down time. Consider reflecting on the manger scene, while listening to sacred Christmas music, and even sipping a hot drink. Everyone has time for this when they properly prioritize their daily activity.
Prioritizing starts with the realization that we don’t have time for everything. Next, remember that God shouldn’t just be part of our life, but front and center in our daily life. This is the invitation of Christmas, and certainly a very powerful one! The focus of Advent is about preparing for God’s arrival, not in a manger in Bethlehem, but in our minds and hearts. Will we respect God enough, love Him enough, and be grateful enough to welcome Him into our lives, front and center? Pray that God will help you to do this.
Christmas occurs this year on Monday, which will make for a very busy three days for us priests and all who help with the weekend Masses. There will be plenty of opportunities between the three parishes to attend Mass, both for the fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas, which occur this year within hours of each other. In case you are wondering, going to Mass Christmas Eve this year on Sunday Dec. 24 does not count both for Sunday and Christmas. The great generosity of God toward us should be reciprocated in our generosity toward Him. The complete Mass schedule for Dec. 23 through Dec. 25 is in this bulletin.
This week I will be traveling to New York, Massachusetts, and Kansas. It might sound as if I’m making a presidential campaign tour, but I’m definitely not! Instead, I’m visiting three special people whose love for God is profoundly impacting the way they live their lives. Two of these are young ladies who are taking the next step to become religious sisters, one of them in New York and the other in Kansas. Where God takes them as religious sisters is only known to God. Maybe it will be in this country but it could be almost anywhere throughout the world. Regardless of where, God will be their closest companion every step of the way.
I’m very excited for these two young ladies, who had life plans of their own, but all of that changed when they truly discovered God. They will have their challenges, but God’s goodness and love will be the force and vision behind all that they do. One of these young ladies is a former parishioner of mine from Galion St. Joseph parish. Her name is Elizabeth Striker. The other young lady is from St. Peter parish and her name is Kate Cropp. Their witness to our world of lust, sex, power, and greed is profound – God is more than enough! In the weeks ahead, I invite you to discover God in a greater way so that He is more than enough for you also!