The first reading today offers us a terrific approach of how to begin this new year: blessing each other. God spells out clearly to Moses to teach this blessing upon his people:
“Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!“
Can you imagine beginning every conversation, every text, every email, every tweet, every letter, every whatever…with such a greeting in our hearts? While that may be an unrealistic expectation, I bet the more often we carry ourselves and approach each other with such a perspective in our hearts, we would be reflecting more sincerely the desire God expressed to Moses, and also to us.
Did you notice an increased attendance at weekend Masses through Advent? I sure did. It occurred to me how much we need each other in our parish, as well as in our workplaces and homes. Whether you are new to the parish or have been part of SJA for decades, please know that you are welcome and that you are needed, because we are about building up the Body of Christ around here and that includes all of us good souls! We have many voices among us, some may be stronger than others, and we need them all. We need you and thank you!
I pray that we continue to value the blessings we enjoy in being the parish that we are, unified in the mission of Jesus Christ in our parish and school and community. As Catholics, may we seek to include the graces of the Sacraments to sustain our lives, especially through the nourishment of the Eucharist regularly, and the experience of God’s loving mercy in Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Body of Christ needs you to be the Body of Christ. Those aren’t just pietistic words…that’s living out the calling each of us received at Baptism. And as it happens, miracles become apparent and our lives are changed.
Thank you for your generosity and kindnesses shown to our parish/school staff and me. We are grateful to be serving in our parish and school, and the spirit of generosity and pitching in together is a great strength in our community. May this coming year be full of the Lord’s abundant blessings upon all of us as we continue the mission Jesus invites us to accomplish in His name.