Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent! Time flies, and we are about to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord. On this last Sunday of preparation within Advent, the Gospel invites us to admire the figure of Saint Joseph, a truly good man, a model of a man, a husband, and a father. In Saint Joseph, his attitude revealed faith and trust in God, making him accept and believe in the angel’s announcement. Putting his faith in action, he was able to recognize his vocation and mission in those words he heard in his dreams: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary, your wife, into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” (Mt 1, 20). May Joseph’s example help us trust and believe in God’s promises and challenges.
I do not want to leave aside the joy that we will begin this Holy Night. Christmas is a time of joy and peace when God has become like us, and I invite you to discover and contemplate the mystery of His birth, His greatness in the simplicity of a newborn. This time always brings joy, and I hope today’s joy makes us meditate and live this mystery as a family and this divine grace. “The grace that has appeared in the world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, God and true man. He has come to our history; He has shared our path. He has come to free us from darkness and give us light. In Him, the grace, the mercy, and the tenderness of the Father have appeared: Jesus is love made flesh. He is not only a teacher of wisdom, He is not an ideal to which we tend and from which we know we are necessarily distant, He is the meaning of life and history that has placed its ‘awning’ between us” (Pope Francis).
I thank everyone for your affection and warm greetings at this time. It is the fourth Christmas with you. I am thrilled to serve you as your pastor. I also appreciate your financial support to our parish; without your collaboration, the parish cannot move forward, and thanks to your generosity, we can continue.
I cannot end without thanking and congratulating all our volunteers, readers, ushers, choir members, catechists, and active members of all the groups and ministries of the parish on this Christmas Day. All of you are the heart of the parish. I am very grateful for your support of our parish community. Thank you for your effort!
Finally, I thank and congratulate the staff of our parish for the hard work they have done this year. They have worked as a team; I know they have given their best and will continue to do so. I am pleased with all of them because we are a great team; they provide the best to serve you as you deserve, and they always seek to show the face of Christ. Therefore, the parish office will be closed starting December 26 for the Christmas holidays so employees can take some time off. We will reopen on January 2, 2024. Therefore, if you wish to do any paperwork, please do it before these days.
Father Berghout, the staff, and I hope this Christmas Day will be a time of hope and spiritual reconciliation. May the grace and peace of the Child Jesus abundantly bless your homes, your families, your intentions, and all of your projects. We wish you a Merry and Holy Christmas full of peace and well-being.