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Merry Christmas! Today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord!

As we thank God today for the birth of our Savior, I would like to thank the many people who donated Christmas gifts or purchased gift cards from the giving tree, as well as those who donated food to the local food pantries. And a special thanks to all who donated to the Christmas flower fund. As we celebrate Christmas this year, we are ever grateful to Rachael Tissot –Durgin and Tom Collins for the music at our Christmas Masses, and our Masses throughout the year. Thanks as well for those who decorated the churches and for all the liturgical ministers. The service you all provide is truly a blessing to our parish family.

This year Christmas Day, the day we celebrate the Birth of Our Savior, falls on a Sunday. When this happens the feasts of the Christmas season seem to be crunched together! So, this Friday we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The feast calls us to remember that Jesus was born into a family household, as well as into the human family. May we reflect this week, as we celebrate in the Octave of Christmas, on the gift of our families; the family into which we were born, and our church family, which we entered through our rebirth in Jesus, our Savior.

As Christmas is on a Sunday this year so is New Year’s Day, when we celebrate the Feast of Mary, The Holy Mother of God. The Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, is next Sunday, January 8th. Epiphany is the feast that reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World, and that he came to be a light to the nations. As we journey through the Christmas season, may we always remember that in spite of the fact that people come from different races, religions, cultures and nationalities, in God’s eyes we are all children of God.

This year we will conclude the Christmas season on the Monday, January 10, as we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On this feast we are reminded how the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus as he was baptized by John in the Jordan river. Following his baptism Jesus began his ministry on earth, a ministry that would lead to the ultimate giving of His life on the cross for us. The mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection opened for us the greatest gift of God’s love, the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have received this gift of God’s love through the waters of baptism, a baptism that calls us to continue the mystery of the incarnation in reverse. The Word of God entered into our humanity through the Virgin Mary; we are now called to participate as human beings in the Divine life of God through the power of the Holy Spirit residing in our hearts. As we begin the New Year, may we follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, allowing ourselves to be Christ for one another by giving ourselves in loving service to our sisters and brothers in Christ. Merry Christmas! Have a blessed week, Father Bill