EMMANUEL- GOD WITH US
Sisters and Brothers, we are all in the mood of celebration and rejoicing for what God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Yes, let us celebrate, let us eat and drink, let us put on our nice dresses and rejoice, dance and sing. But, above all, we should not forget to ask ourselves why are we celebrating and rejoicing? What is the point of celebrating? Do we celebrate and rejoice, simply because it is a custom that each year, on December 25th, we celebrate? Do we celebrate because everybody celebrates? Or do we, as Christians, have more reasons to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, reasons that go beyond food, drinks and clothing?
Jesus the Incarnate Love of God
Oh, yes! We Christians have more reasons to celebrate Christmas. For us, Christmas is a remembrance of the greatest love of God for humanity. You and I are part of humanity. So we are celebrating the unconditional love of God for you and I. For us, Christmas is the celebration of God’s bond with us. Jesus’ name is Emmanuel which means God with us. In Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is truly divine and truly human, the whole of human race has been divinized. It is means that in Jesus Christ the whole humanity has been uplifted to the level of divinity. In Jesus Christ we see the realization of the image of God in each of us (Gen 1:27)
God is our Father
Another important reason for the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is that, through Jesus Christ the Son of God, the fatherhood of God is revealed to us. God has become a father, because he has a Son. And through his only begotten Son, you and I are enabled to become the adopted sons and daughters of God (Eph 1:3-6). If God had no Son, God would have remained as the Creator. You and I would have addressed God as our creator and not as Father. But thanks to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that we are enabled to address God as our Creator and Father. By addressing God as our Father, we are at the same time expressing our bond with God, Jesus Christ, and with our fellow human beings. By calling God our Father we are acknowledging that the whole of human race has one Father and we are all beloved Children of that Father. Each individual human being, regardless of color, age or social status, has the same dignity that comes from God our Father.
If we address God as our Father and at the same time we do not show reverence to human life, or to our fellow human beings then it is clear that we have not understood what it means to address God as our Father.
Let us pray that the wisdom of God will teach us the meaning of the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let the birthday of our Lord be a reminder of our bond with God and with one another.
Fr. Bartholomew Mrosso, M. AFR.
Dear sisters and brothers, let us express our gratitude to God for His grace that has enabled us to witness this liturgical season of Advent. Advent is a period that the mother church invites us to ponder and meditate on the Second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In profession of our Catholic faith, we confess of our belief in one God, the Father almighty who is the source of everything that exists, visible and invisible. At the same time, we profess our faith in one Lord, Jesus Christ, who shares the same nature with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven, and by the power of the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man. The Son of God, suffered, died, rose again and ascended into heaven. We also profess that He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
In our Profession of Faith, we firmly acknowledge the two comings of our Lord Jesus. The first coming has already taken place by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the significant role of the Virgin Mary. In the first coming, the Son of God comes to us as a humble, poor and insignificant child. The Son of God humbles himself so as to come down to our human level and unite himself with all of us. In the Second coming, He will come in glory and authority to judge the living and the dead.
What is Advent?
The word advent comes from Latin root “adventus”, which means coming. When someone promises to come to your home, we normally tend to wait and expect her or his coming. We put ourselves in a state of waiting and expecting. But this human state of waiting and expecting is not exactly the same as our waiting and expecting. The Second coming of the Lord, in this sense, is that we are waiting for the Lord who is already with us and yet he will come again at the end of time to judge the living and the dead. His Second coming will bring to completion his first coming. At his Second coming, he will share his glory with all who believed in him.
Four weeks of Advent
Advent period covers four weeks which leads to the commemoration of the first coming our Lord Jesus Christ, “Christmas”. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is reminder for all of us that as we are waiting for the Second coming of our Lord, we are not alone. The Lord, who is to come, is with us to guide us towards that final coming. His presence among us is the source of our hope and strength as we journey towards the last judgement day. Brothers and sisters, I propose to all of us, four ways of preparing ourselves for the Second coming of our Lord:
1. Read the word of God every day.
2. Take time to pray
3. Take time to be silent- listen
4. Take time to smile because of His presence.
It is good to remember that our whole life is an Advent, that is a time of waiting and expectation in hope, joy, peace and love.
“ When we pray, God listens
When we listen, God speaks
When we believe, God acts.” - (Anonymous)
Have a blessed Advent,
Fr. Bartholomew Mrosso, M. Afr - Pastor
Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Light,
I greet all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
By the virtue of our baptism, Christ has made us his Missionary Disciples. Christ is our Master to whom we are called to center our lives on, constantly listening to him as he opens the scriptures and as he gives himself to us through the breaking of the Bread.
As Missionary Disciples of Christ, our vocation is to obey the voice of our Master and be ready at any time to go where he wants to go to proclaim his Gospel. When Bishop DiMarzio asked me if I was willing to move to another parish, my answer was straight “Yes”, without knowing the parish that the bishop wished to send us. After a few weeks, Bishop informed me that he had appointed me to Our Lady of Light.
I was really happy without knowing why. On the other hand, I became aware that when Christ sends you, he moves ahead of you, so that where you go you will find Christ already present in the place and in the hearts of his disciples. And this is what we are witnessing here and now in this parish of Our Lady of Light. I am grateful to God for sending us here to be the witness of his love among you. We expect two missionaries to join us soon – Fr. Gazena Haile from Ethiopia and Fr. Yago Abeledo from Spain.
We should never forget that Christ is the TRUE PASTOR of our parish, and we are all called to be participants in his Mission through various pastoral activities in our parish of our Lady of Light.
May our Mother Mary be the light that leads us to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fr. Bartholomew Mrosso M.Afr