I have been blessed with an amazing Core Team this year at St. Thomas Aquinas in College Station Texas. I wrote this thank you to them, and I wanted to share more of the reflection like excerpts. Christ is King. Jesus Saves. Praise God for His Mercy.
I am very grateful to all of you for everything that you have done this year to volunteer with our teens. I cannot express how much you have helped me in really working to show Jesus to these teens. I pray that you will continue to have a blessed Advent as it draws to a close, and a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate our Lord’s nativity. The antiphon for the Invitatory in the Liturgy of the Hours for this time of year is: “The Lord is close at hand; come, let us worship him.” That is something that I really want to encourage all of you to do. As we get closer and closer to Christmas, and our lives continue to get busier with preparations, family, friends, and activities, I really encourage you to take a moment to be still with the Lord.
Through the Psalmist, the Lord has told us: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10) Oftentimes around Christmas, we get caught up in everything that we are doing, did we set up the tree? How are the cooking preparations? Did I wrap the presents? Are they ready for Christmas? Did I remember to buy the presents? When are we traveling? Have we packed everything? Did we forget anything? Do we need to go back for what we forgot? Are we there yet? All of these things are important as we get ready to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord with family and friends. But it would be good for us to pause and remember, why we are celebrating the Nativity of our Lord.
In St. John’s Gospel we are taught that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not an thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shown in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5) We remember that the reason for the Nativity was the Crucifixion and Resurrection. We remember, that we were lost in darkness without hope, and that God came to us. We remember that the Lord of the universe has offered Love to us by coming to us. This Love which is radical, beautiful, and transcendent has made a profound impact on our lives as the Lord has entered into relationship with us. And we are left to be able to share this Love and relationship with others all around us. So as we eagerly move into the week of Christmas, let us remember to pause be still with God who is our Savior, rejoicing that He has saved us from darkness.
I am so grateful to you! And everything that you have done this year! There is not a way that I can adequately thank you for everything that you have done for our teens and programs. Going into Christmas, I love the image of the shepherds who were given the glorious news of the Birth of Christ! I pray that we will have the same joy as those noble shepherds in sharing the good news of Jesus and worshiping God! Please contact me if you have any questions or need anything over this Christmas break. I am very grateful for you and love each of you. I leave you with the account of the Shepherds at Christmas.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peach among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angles went away form them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they say it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
- Luke 2:8-20