St. Michael's Parish - Cobourg

Emmanuel: God is with us…?          -Homily Christmas 2014                          

 

Dear Friends, I hope this reflection in form of a dialogue help us to conceive a better idea of our God. Sometimes we complain to God because we expect things from him. The gift of God in Christmas is not something, but is he himself. God is with us. He didn’t give us a suitcase with a million dollars, or a Christmas wrapped box. He wrapped himself up in human flesh, and put himself in your arms for you to kiss him, if you want. Have we received this gift? Are we ready to embrace him? Let us reflect in this particular aspect of Christmas: God is with us.

 

A young man said to Jesus, on Christmas day:

 

  O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Cf. Judges 6:13). With all the wars and illnesses, with all my problems and worries, how can you say that you are with us, that you are close to us?

 

The Lord answered him:

 

– I understand what you say; I have been there before (Cf. Mt. 27:46). But is it I who is not with you, or it is you who are not with me? (This is not the complaint of a judge, but the complaint of a friend) I wonder where were you when I was born in Bethlehem, and I didn’t have a shelter. I came to you, but you did not come to me. Where were you when I was nailed to the Cross? Everybody left me alone. I was there for you, but nobody was there for me. Only my Mother, and two or three more. You may say that you were not born, but I am today with you in all those who suffer these things (Cf. Mt. 25:31-46). Are you with me?

 

“Where are you the whole day, when I am knocking at the door of your heart, and you are always busy with other things? People remember me when they have a problem with health or with money. But they don’t realize that they have another problem that is worse: lack of peace, lack of meaning in their lives, lack of hope in front of death, lack of forgiveness. I am always there, ready to give these and other things. But everybody is busy. I am closer to you than you are to me.”

 

“Where are you on Sundays? You know that I am here in the tabernacle, because you believe in the Eucharist. I am with you, in your own town. Where are you? Is it I who is not with you, or is it you who are not with me?”

 

– I am here every Sunday, Lord...

 

– But if you still complain that I am not with you, it is because perhaps you are here with your body, but your heart is still somewhere else. I need your heart, not your body. It is there that I put happiness and joy. It is there that I put forgiveness and mercy. Let me in. Stop thinking that you will be happy with more money or more health. Let me in, and you will see why I said in the Gospel ‘Blessed are the poor, blessed are those who mourn, because they will be consoled’ (Cf. Mt. 5:1-12). I am the only one who can give perfect joy; I am the only one who can give perfect consolation. The only thing I need is an open heart.

 

– But, Lord, my heart?

 

– I am with you. If you are a thief and you repent, I will have dinner with you, as I did with Zacchaeus (Cf. Lk. 19:1-10). If you were a prostitute, but you wash my feet with your tears, I will welcome you among my friends (Cf. Lk. 7:37-50). If in the middle of your sufferings you believe in me, like the good thief, you will be with me in Paradise (Cf. Lk. 23:39-43). If you want to marry a woman and be happy with her, invite me to your wedding, I will be there with my Mother, and if you are short of wine I will provide it for you, as I did in Cana (Cf. John 2:1-11).

 

“If you drink too much, I will leave your party. If you are not faithful to your wife, I will not support you. But if you want to enjoy what I have given you, I will always be with you. And when you will suffer illness, depression, misfortunes, the death of a beloved, and you will feel alone, I will still be with you (Cf. Mt. 28:20; John 16:33). You cannot see me and touch my face, but I can touch your heart. I will touch your heart, and you will realize how much I love you, and you will understand that death itself is not that bad, if it means that you will see me and embrace me.

 

“Please, do not say that I am not with you. Try to be closer to me. Bring my presence closer to those who cannot find me, because suffering and need have blocked their eyes. I will always knock on your door, I will always be there to forgive, I will always be present in the Eucharist, I will never abandon you. I am waiting for you in Heaven. That is why I came. And if I went back to heaven, it was to prepare a place for you. I will come back to take you with me, so that where I am, you may be also (Cf. John 14:3). Be ready, see you soon (Cf. Rev. 3:11; 22:20).

Merry Christmas!”  -Fr. Andrew

 

 

FYI     Our Christmas Gifts Have Arrived to Fr. Lawrence!

 

“I was very thrilled to see such huge amount of gifts you have sent to us. I understand the amount of efforts and hard work you have put in. Indeed, I have my deep appreciation for all your parishioners and the pastor for their sincere commitment to reach out to the poor and the neglected. I am very grateful to you for your concern towards my parish kids. 

 

Jesus says..."Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do unto me.." Indeed what you have done is done to HIM.....I am pretty sure HE will bless you and bless you more ......and you are a blessing to all these kids and to me as well.. 

 

May God bless all your good intentions...

 

Meanwhile please inform the pastor and the parishioners that the packages have reached me here....”                              Thank you very much. Fr. Lawrence

 

2015 Year of the Family    Diocese of Peterborough 

Opening Mass – Bishop McGrattan will open the Year of the Family on the Feast of the Holy Family, Sunday December 28, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. Peter-In-Chains, Peterborough, at the 10:00 am & 11:30 am Masses. A special blessing will be given to families at this time.  

 

 

Life—objectives for the week…

Why did God send his Son to earth as a little baby in a family, rather than a powerful king or warrior?

 

 

Penitential Service Today Sunday, December 21st

Please join us for our Advent Penitential Service today, Sunday December 21st at 2:00 pm in the Church.  There will be several guest priests available.