Diocese of Toledo, Ohio

Browsing From the Pastor

December 23/24 Bulletin Article

Dear Parishioners,

God’s blessing to you and your family this Christmas season. May you have the privilege of spending time with family and friends during this special time of year. May you have the even greater privilege of truly experiencing the real joy of Christmas this year – God! The way we do this is, firstly, to take time each day to turn away from worldly distractions so that, secondly, we are able to devote quality, one-on-one time with God. Remember that God is more personal and relational than any human person – God is the fulfillment of all human desire!

The glitter on the tree, the neatly wrapped presents, and even the beautiful music is not the reason for the season. God becomes one of us in every way but sin. He experiences every human situation – work, sleep, fatigue, hunger, pain, joy, temptation, and even death so that He could lead us to something greater – Himself. In becoming man and experiencing everything we deal with each day, God seeks to eliminate the thinking that God’s ways and teachings are simply suggestions, rather than commands that bring about the lasting peace and joy we desire.

A quick, honest assessment of both ourselves and the world in which we live says that we need God. We aren’t able to take care of things by ourselves, and our solutions for a multitude of concerns and problems seem to be more temporary than permanent. Yes, we need God and Christmas shows us that He is with us. Emmanuel means “God is with us.” But don’t forget, God needs us to do something – truly follow Him. Too often we allow ourselves to be enslaved by things of the world at the great cost of not knowing who and what God really is. Let this Christmas be different!

Be sure to devote time to prayer, spiritual reading, and personal reflection. This practice might seem like something only monks and scholars do rather than the ordinary person. However, throughout Christianity, both the young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated have made commitments to regular times of prayer each day. This is how we experience God’s love, and find the strength to carry our crosses without becoming negative. Praying is how we also bring the goodness and power of God into the lives of other people, some of whom desperately need our prayerful assistance.

Christmas reminds us that each of us are wanted and loved by God. It is very comforting to know this. Sometimes we do not feel the love and compassion from other people as we should. Sometimes we might feel lonely or discouraged.  In each of these cases, we turn to God. Don’t ignore or be complacent of His daily invitation to you! Respond to God’s with obedience, joy, and daily prayer! Anything less during this Christmas season is foolish!

Praying that your Christmas is merry and blessed,
Fr. Miller


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