Merry and Blessed Christmas! Today we are celebrating the incredible moment in history when Jesus “came home” to us. It is “incredible”, because, in order for Jesus’ entire life work to happen—his ministry, his crucifixion, and his Resurrection—he had to make himself at home for 33 years in this human community. What would being at home mean for Jesus—and for us?
Home is usually the place we silently dream of going back to when everything else has gone wrong. But do you think Jesus felt this way about coming into this world? Do you think this earth ever felt like home to him? Jesus said at one point, “Foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head…”
Here Jesus is not just yearning to return to the house he grew up in. He just doesn’t want to re-visit his father Joseph’s carpentry shop. He is showing us with his entire life on earth that his home—and, therefore, our home—is in the heart of God, and that is exactly where Jesus is. We live and move and have our being in Jesus; he is our ultimate home. And it is God’s will “that all would be one”, that all of creation will ultimately be reunited in that home. Now, that has been accomplished because Jesus chose to live and die with us and for us. Picture that homecoming!
Now we can see life and death differently! If you have lost a loved one this Christmas, open your heart to the knowledge that everyone brought into life by God will live forever in God’s heart and memory. The healing, the shining Light of God that Jesus brings is beyond our wildest imaginings. Not even the smallest sparrow will be forgotten!
In my name, in the name of Father Walter Quiceno, Msgr. Cajetan Salemi, Fr. Dave Baratelli, our deacons, Sisters of St. Joseph, parish trustees, staff, as well as Sr.Kathy Nace, SSJ, Principal of St. Rose High School, Mr. Gregory Guito, Principal of St. Rose Grammar School, Sr. Donna D’Alia, RSM, Pastoral Associate for Catechesis, we wish you and your family a Christmas filled with the blessings of peace and joy among your family, friends, and loved ones. Thanks be to God that we are together to celebrate another Christmas! May you have the gift of Faith, the blessing of Hope, and the peace of Christ’s Love at Christmas and always. God bless you and keep you always in His Love…. a Blessed and Merry Christmas.
Listen to Sr. Donna’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel: 12.25.16 Gospel
Listen to Father Ed’s homily at the Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve (with about 100 Little Ones gathered around him): 12.24.16 Father Ed Children’s Mass
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish