Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jesus Birthday Card


If you ever wondered what kind of relationship you might want with Jesus you could think of it in this way. It can be silly one moment and serious the next, sometimes somber, apologetic and then comforting. Christmas might be your opportunity to rekindle a relationship that makes you a holy person.

Next time you look at your manger scene, think of God’s promised to be there in our painful moments. The Savior's name is Emmanuel, a name that means God-is-with-us.

God is with us when we come home dirty and exhausted after another long day in the field, driving the tractor, hauling the manure, and nursing a sick animal.
God is with us when we are shocked by the news that our grandchild, daughter or husband has some serious disease.
God is with us when we learn that our spouse is being deployed to a foreign country for work or to defend our country from terrorist.
God is with us when we have been rejected by our children for Christmas and we could not see our grandkids.
God is with us when our child faces a sentence of life in prison or a mental institution.
God is with us when a grandparent is shocked to learn that their 19 year old grand-daughter was found dead due to a drug overdose on Christmas Eve.

How do we handle these tragic situations in life that bring us to our knees in tears? How do we turn things around from this darkness and find God to give us strength and courage?

That beautiful birthday sums up where we need to be at this moment, chatting with our friend, pouring out our hurts, asking our friend to be our comfort and peace. Know that God hears all of your fears and comes now to wipe your tears and hold you close until you find your peace. Let us pray:
“May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.” (Psalm 67: 2-3).

Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends who are in pain this holiday. May God bless you with his mercy and know that you are in my humble prayers.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Christmas Message

I am humbly blessed to serve as “shepherd” of Holy Family Catholic parish.
On Sunday, December 6th, our parish celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas inviting our children to bring “refreshed” toys from their toy boxes to be donated to needy children in the community. 

Our goal is to help these kids learn to be children of gratitude. What better way to show our kids how fortunate they are than to help out those in need? Angel Action is the local community service agency that identified over 150 families in Wyoming County. Our kids’ parents along with other local churches contributed gifts to these families in their time of need. St. Nicholas came to our church to receive their toys and gifts and help deliver them to the families in the community.

Let this Christmas note express my sincere gratitude and thanks for all the special favors, counsel, support and prayers that you have offered our family in the past year. For help in cutting down 500 trees, to collecting 14 tons of debris for an elderly neighbor, repairing tractor hitches, uploading computer software, donating to the parish playground fund, enjoying concerts and hockey games, sharing Christmas cookie recipes and a million other favors that bring joy to my ministry.

From all the kids and St. Nicholas, may the Christ Child enter your heart and bring you and your family good health and a gentle peace.

Father Matt, Shepherd Holy Family Catholic Parish
4316 Route 98, North Java, NY 14113
Sunday Mass at 10:00am. First & third Sunday social hour after Mass.
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