12/24/2017 - "HOW SILENTLY, HOW SILENTLY, THE WONDROUS GIFT IS GIVEN; SO GOD IMPARTS TO HUMAN HEARTS THE BLESSINGS OF HIS HEAVEN. NO EAR MAY HEAR HIS COMING......"
"How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given; So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven. No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in."
From the hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem" For the attentive soul, through our celebration of our Savior's Birth, our Father reveals three stunning truths that cast a beautiful light upon our lives and souls. As the gifts of God never grow old or stale, let us draw near to the graces He gives so as to prepare for that which He will bestow upon us this year!
1ST TRUTH: OUR FATHER REJOICES BECAUSE IN THE BIRTH OF JESUS HE HAS ESTABLISHED THE DEFINITIVE MEANS FOR US TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM
Our Father created us for one sole purpose: to share in His own Divine Life for all eternity! With the gift of Jesus, our Father has provided us the abundant means to experience a fulfilling life lived out in friendship with His Son. The reality of the Birth of Jesus has the power to cast out, from our hearts, the darkness and shadows of worldly thinking: my life doesn't matter! It doesn't matter what I do with my life! Your life does matter! God loves you so much that He sent His only Begotten Son just for you! Have you grown closer to Jesus during this past year? Do you know Him better? Do you love Him more?
2ND TRUTH: GOD HAS CHOSEN TO NEED US!
If we look closely, everything about the Gift of Jesus Christ reveals this fundamental truth that God has chosen to need us. God chose the prophets and patriarchs of the Old Testament to teach His People to long for the coming Messiah. God chose the angels and shepherds to be the first witnesses of His most amazing love! God chose St. John the Baptist to dedicate his whole life to preparing hearts to encounter His Divine Son. God chose the elderly Simeon and Anna to bear witness to all those within the Temple about the gift of His Son! Throughout His whole Public Ministry, Jesus was constantly calling and choosing souls to become a part of His family and then be sent forth to bear witness to the Good News. Your life matters not just because God loves you so much, but because He wants to entrust you in a unique way with a mission. It doesn't matter how simple or poor our lives are; it doesn't matter how wounded and distraught we might be. Stand up and walk towards Jesus! As we begin to respond to Jesus' invitation, the heavens truly open as God showers blessings upon blessings on our lives! During this past year, have you taken advantage of opportunities to share your faith with others? Have you told anyone about Jesus during this past year?
3RD TRUTH: JESUS WANTS US TO BE IN A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MOTHER
Mary was the first and best disciple of Her Divine Son! She is a unique and special witness to the truth of the Good News of Jesus! Mary's very being is a proclamation that God so loved the world, He gave us His only Begotten Son. Mary, for all eternity, will be the Mother of God, the Mother of our Savior, Jesus! As Jesus hung upon the Cross for love of us, the movements of His heart were towards us and His Mother. On the Cross, Jesus entrusted you in a unique and special way to His Mother, and He entrusted His Mother in a unique and special way to you. It has been the constant experience of the disciples of Jesus throughout the centuries that as they respond to this desire to be in a special relationship with His Mother, that they actually grow closer and fall more in love with Him! Have you responded to the desire of Jesus to be in a special relationship with His Mother?
THESE THREE GIFTS OF GOD THAT WE RECEIVED LAST YEAR, ARE FIRST OF ALL TO BE EXPERIENCED ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. ONCE THAT HAPPENS, WE BECOME AWARE THAT THEY ARE ALSO TRUE FOR US AS A PARISH FAMILY.
Our Archbishop is challenging all Catholics and all parishes in southeast Michigan to join together as a band of joyful missionary disciples. Our Archbishop is confident that as we respond to God's gift and call, everything we do here at St. Louise, everything that we are about here at St. Louise, will be directed toward facilitating an encounter with Jesus for as many souls as possible; striving to offer everyone opportunities to grow daily in their discipleship of Jesus; building up souls to confidently and boldly bear witness to Jesus. Your response to the call of Jesus is the most precious gift that you could make to your parish family! The more of us that are able to join arms with Jesus and praise Him and bear witness to Him, the greater the impact we will have on our neighborhoods and communities!
"Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us" (Luke 2:15, NKJV). Blessed Infant, nestle near our heart this day, and live in us forever. Christmas blessings to you and yours. During this Christmas season, let's keep each other in prayer.