St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Resolve to Keep a Promise                                                    -New Year’s Message 

Each new year we tend to make resolutions.  These resolutions are a sort of promise that we make to ourselves, with the idea or intent that this resolution will hopefully help us become a better person. Very often this deals with our physical health or psychological help.  But what about a person’s spiritual health.  With this in mind, consider the following account.

Long, long ago a promise was made. About a little child being given to God. This child was called, was chosen from among many, to be a special member of God’s kingdom and in fact God’s own family. However, as the child grew, the child would get distracted from God, and from time to time and even wander ever so slightly away and in these moments was sometimes uncertain of which direction to go or even if it wanted to go back.   Until one day the child realized it was very lost. Although the child did not enjoy the loneliness of being lost, it did everything it could to convince itself that it was okay.  The struggle would go on for some time. The child grew and from time to time would see the Father’s house from a distance, but fearful of what the father would say, the child would not get too close.  However, on special occasions this child, who wasn’t so little any more, would quietly enter the father’s house, almost hoping not to be recognized.  This of course was only when there was such a large gathering that the child could avoid the father.   For although the child loved the father, the child was not certain of how the father felt about his child being gone so long.

The details and the particulars differ from individual to individual; however, in some ways this child may have been you, maybe it still is, having   wandered away intentionally or unintentionally, because of a misunderstanding or a disagreement, but it is important for this child to know that it is still welcomed, and wanted.  Or perhaps this child never had a home and is looking to be adopted by the Father. Seeking a family is the desire of every orphan, even if that desire is buried deep down.

If part of you desires:

·   a closer relationship with God, desire to be holy and ask God for his help.        

·   to be found, know that God is seeking you, calling you, and there is no need to be afraid.

·   If you are not sure what you want, simply call to God.

Christmas is not over yet! (The Catholic Church continues to celebrate in a special way for a whole 8 days, the Octave of Christmas.  The celebrations continue to the Epiphany, after which the Liturgical Year enters into Ordinary Time.)  So there is still time to give yourself to Christ as a Christmas gift.  And what do we do with gifts?  We wrap them. So if you want to  give yourself to Christ as a gift, wrap yourself up in Christ from the inside out.

Image result for religious new yearsCould this be your resolution?     This year I resolve to give myself to Christ again, just as I was given to Him at my baptism. 

We know God will not be outdone in Generosity.  The more we give to God the more he gives to us.  By giving, truly giving ourselves to God, he will help us with all our needs.

Since a good mother is always good at the fine touches when it comes to gift giving, we can ask our Blessed Mother to help us to give our-self to her Son throughout the year. –Fr. Gerardus


The Greatest Gift.     Do you remember….                                   –Christmas 2016

 

That time that you got the perfect gift? That gift that you were so happy and excited to get, that you may have thought – I could never be happier.   Now compare that happiness to the Joy that you experienced when you gave that perfect gift to another person.  Was the happiness that you experienced in the receiving different than the joy in giving?  It probably was, and hopefully the joy of giving was greater then the happiness of receiving.

 

It is quite possible that when you were planning, packaging, and wrapping the perfect gift to give you put great care even into that.  Each step gave a certain amount of joy. Even anticipating the expression on the person’s face and then eventually seeing it, the feelings perhaps cannot be described with words.

 

The next big question is: How do you give the perfect gift to someone who has everything?  How do you give the perfect gift to God?  You give Him what he really wants! You give Him, that which He will not take, unless it is given to Him.  You give Him yourself. It is true what Psalm 100 says: He made us, we belong to Him. But Only after we have given ourselves to Him.  It has to do with the other gift he gave us, Free Will, a gift so we could truly experience Love and Joy.

 

As with most gifts, we should wrap the gift.  This does not mean that you should wrap yourself in wrapping paper and put a bow on your head, unless you really want to J.  This means that you should wrap yourself in Christ. St. Paul tells us in Romans 13:14 “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Or in some translations to clothe yourself with Christ. This doesn’t mean to put on a Jesus suit; this clothing is not just a cover, it is not just an exterior thing. We also have to consider this idea to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” with what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew 23:26 “Clean the inside”.  Jesus is referring to the inside of the person, that is to say the Soul. Why? “Because if the inside is clean the outside will be.” (Mathew 23:26).   In other words, Wrap yourself up with Christ from the inside out.

 

It is not always easy wrapping a gift. Often we may have tons (okay, slight exaggeration) of paper and tape left over.  Occasionally we need some professional help (at least someone who is more coordinated in the skill of wrapping). The same goes for wrapping oneself in Christ.  Sometimes a visit with a priest can help, whether it is in the confessional or spiritual direction, the priest can help in finding the way. Only Jesus the High Priest is perfect, so even though the “regular” priest is not perfect, he can help a person to clothe himself in Christ.

 

Image result for happy birthday jesusThe exterior wrapping is not what gives the gift value, but it often adds value – or dignity to the gift.  The wrapping on the inside of the gift—that closeness—the beautifying of the Soul—helps to transform your entire self into the perfect gift for Christ—on Christmas, I mean on His Birthday. –Fr. Gerardus

 

PS: Don’t forget to sing

to Jesus “Happy Birthday”