Dear Mater Ecclesiae, Downtown Family of Parishes….
This year has been one of stress and adjustment, of doubt and suspicion. To put it plainly, it's been very messy! But we need a constant reminder that it's about incarnation and resurrection!
“I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin…” we say these important words of belief Sunday after Sunday, and whenever we profess the Apostles creed. Christmas is about Christ, His birth in Bethlehem, His encounter with the shepherds, with the Magi, and with Anna and Simeon…and our personal encounter with Him! During Advent and Christmas we reflect more intensely on that encounter, so that we might rediscover the joy of what that means for our lives.
A child, born for us! Life! Light! Joy! Peace! Images we treasure during this season. Yet, as he lies in the wooden manger, we can already foresee the impending suffering of the wood of the cross and with the senseless slaughter of the Holy Innocents to appease the vanity of Herod.
This tells us that our lives are a mix of good and evil, joy and sorrow, hope and despair, and happiness and pain. Life is messy! As we look upon the child in the manger with awe, we are only too aware of the death of children who never get a chance! This Child causes us to fall down in worship, praise and thanksgiving; the Holy Innocents of our own time causes us to question the values of a world where one person’s choice trumps another’s life.
Especially this year we rejoice in the blessings of life and each other. We rejoice that we are able to celebrate our faith in the author of life together in person! To ‘reimagine’ church and how its lived in parishes. It is also a time to pass our blessings along to those struggling, so that all life may be fed and supported!
Merry Christmas and Blessings throughout 2024 from myself, Fr Jacek Mazur, our family priests, Deacon Tom Labelle and the staff of our downtown parishes.
In His service, Fr.Ray Corbin