Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Dec 21, 2022

I extend to all of you and your loved ones a very Holy and Merry Christmas 2022.  I hope and pray that your celebration of the holy Season of Christmas will be for you a time to draw closer to the Lord, Jesus so that you may come to know a little better the great love that He has for you.

Christmas is such a holy time, and we can make it holy by what we do and how we are willing to extend the love of Jesus to others in our daily lives.  The Christmas Season is a time when it seems a little easier to be at peace and treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves because so many people really try to show that kindness and generosity toward others that Jesus asks of us. When more of us really try it makes it easier for all of us.  That is the way God intends us to be and the way His Word leads us, so if we could do what Jesus asks of us all year round we would certainly be building up the Kingdom of God right here and right now.  It certainly is worth some real thought, but we have to make up our own minds and not let ourselves become discouraged by what other people are doing.  We must resolve to follow Christ no matter what anyone else says or does.  This is how we keep the “Spirit of Christmas” all year long.  This is truly the will of God for every one of us.  It is a big challenge, but we can do it as long as we rely on God and truly welcome Him into our lives every single day and not just on December 25.  This is quite easy to do; all it takes is some prayers every day, going to Mass every Sunday, going to confession every few months, and trying to grow in our knowledge of our Catholic Faith by reading or listening to Catholic radio or television.

We are very blessed to have two great Catholic radio stations in our area, Living Bread Radio at 1060 AM and The Rock at 1260 AM.  Many of us also have access to Catholic TV through EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) on cable TV; there is also the internet which can help us so much if we use it properly for the good God intended.

On Friday, December 30, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family. Normally we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s. This feast is a particularly good opportunity for all of us to reflect on the image and the example of the Holy Family. As Jesus is the center of the Holy Family, we need to constantly strive to make Him the center of all our families. He is the Son of God, and we are all the children of God, and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. We look to Jesus, who is the Word of God made flesh, in order that we may come to know the Father and the great love and mercy He has for all of us. Jesus is God made man, the Incarnation, and this reveals the love and humility of God because He chose to become one of us in all things except sin. In Jesus, God is with us always, especially in the sacraments, the Word of God, the Church, and through our prayers.

It is important for us to look to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as examples and guides of what it means to do God’s will in all things. The Holy Family surrendered themselves to the will of God so that we might know the love of God in our own lives. We are called to do the same thing for one another by striving to do the will of God in our daily lives. In this, we can be witnesses to God’s love and help others to know His presence and His love in all things. 

Let us pray for all our families so that the example of the Holy Family may always guide us as we strive to place God at the center of our lives. We must do all we can to strengthen the family in our society, especially through prayer. Remember: “The family that prays together stays together.” This is a simple truth that we need to live by each day.  This would certainly be a good day to attend Mass with your family even though we do not have to.

HOLY MOMENTS is a book written by Matthew Kelly.  This Christmas our parish will be giving a copy of this book to each family in the parish on Christmas Day.  Why do you crave more? Because God made you for more. In fact, He’s given you a spiritual superpower: the ability to collaborate with Him right where you are.  Holy Moments are the profoundly simple and astonishingly practical ways to collaborate with God, moment by moment, for the rest of your life.  Master your power to create Holy Moments and you will discover the life of extraordinary meaning and divine purpose God made you for!  Open your life to God and you will realize how many Holy Moments you already have.  Let the Holy Spirit fill your life.  Enjoy the read and share it.

Fr. Joe Labak