Father Kevin’s Reflection – December 6, 2015

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adventcandle2The wood carved Crib Set is now out in front of St. Joseph’s side. I hope you will go take a look. But, not to look at the scene as you have looked at it in the past.  During this Year of Mercy, ask God to open your heart and mind to the Mystery of Mercy and Divine Love…especially, if you can, bring your children and grandchildren with you and learn from you. Pray for the family and the world that God’s Mercy can touch us in a unique way this coming year.

I will gradually be putting the main characters into the scene as the Advent and Christmas Season unfolds in front of us. During Advent the life-like figures, darkness, and the cold temperature helps us to contemplate the reality of God’s love…that He would send His Son to be born into our world so that we could experience His love and compassion in a most powerful and personal way.  Advent is the time to renew our faith in this reality. With faith, everything appears in a new light, because with faith, we accept God’s vision of reality and allow Him to guide us with His word and His Sacraments to understand what we must do and the path we must follow to live in His love.

With the many difficulties of this life, Advent invites us to renew our certainty that God is present…that He entered the world and became human…like us…at the world’s darkest hours (therefore, December 25th) in order to bring to fullness His awesome plan of salvation.

We humans are very resilient and have the power to move forward even in very difficult situations as long as:

  1. it leads toward a goal,
  2. we are sure of the goal, and
  3. the goal is good enough to justify the effort of the journey.

Well, the Catholic Faith provides a resounding ‘yes’ to each of these elements!

There is a goal called Heaven…that God has assured us exists to serve as our Eternal Home…and the joys of Heaven are so wonderful that they are beyond our ability to describe! So, the goal exists…and it’s a goal worthy of our every effort. Heaven is not here on earth…Heaven is the gift offered by the Father and obtained through the Son. That is why Christmas is so very special! Without the Son, there would still be no way for us to reach the goal of Heaven. It was only by Jesus offering His human life for us on the Cross, that the Gates of Heaven were re-opened enabling us to enter in. Christmas marks the visible beginning of our redemption for that is when the world first looked upon the face of the new-born Babe in Bethlehem, Who would soon become the Savior of the world! Let us continue to prepare our hearts to celebrate the Birthday of Jesus by contemplating the mystery of the manger…where God, Who is pure spirit, took on the flesh and blood of man! And, then let’s go and share this wonderful news with everyone who will listen!

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