December 23, 2020 – Father’s Ramblings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is born for us! Come let us adore Him!

I want to begin by wishing you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. The Lord was born into our midst two thousand years ago as a helpless infant. The angels sang His praise; the shepherds came to worship Him. The world was changed with the birth of Christ. I pray all of you are changed and renewed in your celebration of the Lord’s birth.

I have always loved Christmas, and not just because of the presents and food. There is something so appealing about our God who comes to us in the lowliness of an infant dependent on our care. God has entrusted Himself to us so that we might care for Him. He came to dwell in us at Baptism; He gave us His Spirit in Confirmation; He repeatedly comes to us in the Eucharist. God in His goodness comes to us in the most humble ways that we might care for Him.

Amidst the joys and sorrows of this season and year, let us not lose sight of our God who has been born into our midst. He has come to draw our hearts to love of Him. Let us open our hearts to that call of love.

It wouldn’t be a letter to you if I didn’t include updates about the current situation. Undoubtedly you all know about the orders from the state government and the various extensions. In regards to the Church, Bishop Walkowiak has extended the dispensation from the Sunday Obligation through February 17th (Ash Wednesday). Again, this dispensation is meant to ease the burden on those who have serious health concerns. While this dispensation is broadly applied, it should not be used as an excuse to avoid Mass or the Eucharist.

Our participation at Mass is vital to our life of faith. We often focus on receiving the Eucharist, and the Eucharist certainly is essential, but we should never lose sight of the importance of Mass itself. We come to Mass to worship God by offering sacrifice. We offer the sacrifice of our lives in union with the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. We join in the great work of salvation. Whether we receive the Eucharist or not, we need the Mass in order to worship God as He intends. There is no substitute for this.

Again, many have serious health concerns along with the health concerns of those they live with and care for. This is why the bishop keeps extending the dispensation. However, let’s not use it as an easy excuse to avoid the most important event of our lives: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

With Christmas at hand, it also means that New Year’s is at hand. While we have no idea what 2021 will bring, many will be glad to have 2020 behind them. What is the ancient Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times. 2020 has certainly been an interesting year. Let’s pray for a far less interesting year in 2021.

May the Lord fill you with His blessings of peace and joy this Christmas Season.

–Fr. Ferris

St. Anthony
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church strives to be “A Parish with a Heart.” Using our time, talents and treasures, our parish family is dedicated to the faith formation of our youth and living the gospel in our community.
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