Dear People of Saint Anne,
During the Christmas season, we hear sounds and voices that seem to be silent the rest of the year-from the lighthearted jingling bells that delight children to the traditional carols that we sing which express messages simple enough for children to understand yet profound enough to challenge us for the rest of our lives. We exchange greetings of peace, joy and love. This is an unusual time of the year. But the real meaning of Christmas is the spirit that inspires all of these meaningful and touching practices.
That spirit is captured in the Scripture readings we hear proclaimed on the Feast of Christmas. Saint Paul tells us that the grace of God has appeared. Isaiah announces the birth of a king who will usher in a time of justice and peace. The child born has come as savior for all.
If we really hear this message and take it to heart, our Christmas greetings might actually be promises to do what we can to bring about this wish and dream for others. We will be attentive to those who are needy, not simply because we are generous, but because we are the ones through whom God is accomplishing the dream of love’s reign for all people. The Christ child was born to begin the work that we now continue, so that all the ends of the earth will see the saving power of God. May we continue that work of Christ with joy and commitment that is sustained by the Spirit at work in our lives.
And so, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we begin this Christmas season, in these days of family gatherings and heartfelt time spent with good friends, I hope and pray, along with our Parish Staff and Council, that as parishioners and friends of Saint Anne, you will know a Christmas season rooted in the serenity that deep faith provides, strong enough to survive the disappointments and sorrows that life delivers and exuberant enough to celebrate the happiest and most joyous times of life.
May Christ’s peace promised in this holy season, a peace that broken hearts long for, be yours in abundance.
May you know the gift of hope burst forth more fully in your hearts.
So much in our world and our church these days encroaches and drains our capacity to hope in the gift of our faith. May the birthday of Christ renew and refresh hope in your hearts on this day and in the year to come.
In the name of our Parish Staff and Parish Council,
A Blessed Christmas,
Father Bernie Pietrzak