Dear Parishioners,

As we hear the words of the prophet Micah today, we cannot hold back from singing the words of the Advent Carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem!” So unmistakably the Liturgy of this day leads us to think of shepherds and flocks, grace-filled places, and lives that are touched intimately by the hand and plan of the Most High. We see God at work in unlikely places and in relationships that are separated by generations. We hear and see that the Lord’s words to us will always come to fulfillment!

Our custom on this day is to bless the image of the infant Jesus that will grace our homes during the coming days of Christmas, and perhaps, throughout the coming year. May the words of this blessing be a source of reflection for us:

Almighty God and Father, lover of the human race, we praise you for the great love shown us in sending of your Word. Born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he became our Savior, our first-born brother, like us in all things but sin. You have given us Christ as the perfect example of holiness.

We see him as the child in the manger, yet acknowledge him as Wonder-Counselor, Father-Forever, Mighty God and Prince of Peace.

We see his face and discern the countenance of your goodness. We hear him speak words of life and are filled with your wisdom. We search the deepest riches of his heart and our own hearts burn with the fire of the Spirit which he spread in order to renew the face of the earth.

We look on the Bridegroom of the Church, who through his Passion and Death washes away our sins. The Church, his bride, rejoices in the glory of his resurrection and shares the in the promise it holds.

May Christ be the way that leads them to you, the truth that shines in their hearts, and the life that animates their actions. May Christ be a light to their footsteps, a safe place of rest on their journey, and the gate that opens to them the City of Peace.

A special welcome to Fr. Ponce who joins us this weekend and will be staying with us through the Christmas Season.

If your travels will take you away from our parish family during the Holy Days, may they be filled with safe travels, renewed relationships and gifted companionships with reveals the presence of the One who saves us from our sins, the Lord Jesus! And for those who “remain at home,” we look forward to sharing the 12 Days of Christmas with you that we may “the great tidings tell” of the One who “comes to us, abides with us, Our Lord Emmanuel!”

May God, who by the Incarnation of his Son brought together the earthly and heavenly realms, fill you with the gift of his peace and favor, and of every blessing!

Fr. Bob

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