Pastor's Desk Notes

December 26, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, we look to the manger scene in Bethlehem. At the heart of every creche, amongst all the animals, shepherds, wise men, and other figures, we find the Holy Family. St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary adore the Child Jesus. For all the other action, especially in those larger Nativity displays, the eye is drawn to the real purpose of the scene. The mystery of God taking on our human flesh, the Incarnation, is a historical reality that is entrusted to the care of a human family. In this, God highlights the divine plan for human flourishing. From the beginning, the human race was created for communion, to be in a relationship of mutual support. Thus, Genesis tells us that Eve was the perfect helpmate, the perfect complement to Adam. In their spousal union, they join with God in the act of creation. Marriage, from the beginning, is meant to be the reflection of God’s loving plan for his creatures, and even after Adam and Eve’s fall into sin, God makes clear that the family will always be that place where His plan and story are known. The redemptive plan of God for humanity begins in the family.

With Christmas followed this year immediately by a Sunday, we celebrate the great solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord and the feast of the Holy Family in rapid succession. The feast of the Holy Family allows us to see a family life that is faithful to the law of God, that is generous in self-sacrificing love, that is inspired by prayer and deeper union each day. On this day, we also recognize the many struggles that families face, the pain that often exists in the context of spousal relationships and family structures. The temptation is often to blame the very idea of family for these problems and their attendant sufferings. But the feast of the Holy Family reminds us that God so desires to be at the heart of every family life that He entrusted the Incarnation of the only-begotten Son to the care of a human family. Redemption begins with the family.

As we celebrate these dual feasts, let us pray for the strengthening of family life, bringing before the Lord those especially who are preparing to celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, that open to God’s grace, they may live out the covenant of marriage freely, faithfully, and fruitfully. Let us pray for those parents who are welcoming children into the world, especially for the first time, that as their families grow, they may have the grace to guide them according to the example of the Holy Family. Let us pray for those families that are struggling because of marital strife, that they may have the grace of God’s reconciling and healing power, and be renewed in the commitments made on their wedding day. Let us pray for those families who suffer separation because of distance, difficulty, and unforgiveness, that they may be consoled and renewed by the joy of Christ’s birth. Let us pray for those who have no family, that in the welcome of the community of believers, the Church, they may find a spiritual family to accompany them, share their burdens, and bring joy to their hearts.

In honor of the feast of the Holy Family, I encourage you to pray the following consecration prayer (courtesy of the Knights of Columbus) together today:

O Lord Jesus,
you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.
There you grew in age, wisdom and grace
as you prepared to fulfill your mission as our Redeemer.
We entrust our family to you.
O Blessed Mary,
you are the Mother of our Savior.
At Nazareth you cared for Jesus and nurtured Him in the peace and joy of your home.
We entrust our family to you.
O Saint Joseph,
you provided a secure and loving home for Jesus and Mary,
and gave us a model of fatherhood while showing us the dignity of work.
We entrust our family to you.
Holy Family,
we consecrate ourselves and our family to you.
May we be completely united in a love that is lasting, faithful,
and open to the gift of new life.
Help us to grow in virtue, to forgive one another from our hearts,
and to live in peace all our days.
Keep us strong in faith, persevering in prayer, diligent in our work,
and generous toward those in need.
May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church
where we reflect your example in our daily life.




Fr. Sam