We are truly blessed to have almost a full week to prepare our hearts and homes for a truly joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  In most years this fourth week of the Advent season is cut short, maybe to just a day or two depending on what day of the week December 25th falls on.  I suppose for the young children they might prefer a shorter fourth week of Advent, less time to have to wait for the day that they think it’s their birthday too what with all the gifts they will receive.

Something we all need to remember is that we too, all of us will receive an abundance of gifts with the coming of Jesus into our lives.  Oh yes!  We know that we have already received so many treasures from the Lord but giving special thought to the wonder of all these gifts helps us to draw more closely to Jesus Himself now, this year, this Christmas…

Every year I make this appeal as we draw closer to Christmas:  please take the time to spend some time during these days for prayer and reflection on how wondrous it is that what we are planning to celebrate is God coming into our lives for each and every one of us.  And He did, you know.  Maybe we tend to take it all for granted as something that happened so long ago and we know the beautiful story of the birth of Jesus, born in a stable in the little town of Bethlehem, but it is happening once again when we allow it to have that special place in our lives giving it the attention it deserves.

I would like to leave you with a little reflection, it is entitled “Journey to Bethlehem”.

Joseph and Mary set out for Bethlehem.

When they arrived there,

The time came for Mary to have her baby,

And she gave birth to a son.

All of us are journeying to Bethlehem,

Where we hope to be born.

I know we were born once.

Nevertheless, we are still unborn,

In the sense that our true and full self

Hasn’t yet seen the light of day.

When our second birth occurs,

Then all the gifts of grace and nature,

Which God gave us as seeds,

Will blossom and bear fruit.

Our ultimate goal is the heavenly Bethlehem

Where we shall see God face to face.

May these last days before we celebrate this great and wondrous feast bring you the graces you wish for and need.

May all of you enjoy a very Merry Christmas and may your hearts rejoice and bring you closer to the Lord who came for you and for me.

Fr. Walt