Dear Brothers and sisters
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favours!”(Luke 2:13-14)
As we celebrate the birth day of the Babe of Bethlehem, I wish you “A joyous, peaceful and grace -filled Christmas and a hopeful, prosperous, and promising New Year-2014." I pen to express my greetings to you and your families. I think not only of those who live within our parish but also your family members, dear and near ones, on this special season of the year.
Christmas reminds us that our God is not a distant God but a God who is with us,-“Emmanuel.” May the Emanuel God find place in our hearts and homes. During this season, we Christians, remember and celebrate that sacred moment in human history when God entered in our world, becoming part of every one of us and the whole human race. Christmas brings us back to the source of our life and existence. God has come into the world, with His love, peace and hope that makes us joyful and rejoicing. His light has shone in our darkness and no darkness can overpower this light.
As a priest, for many years, in this parish of our lady of the Rosary, I feel privileged and so uplifted by the huge number of the dedicated parishioners who minister, in many ways, alongside us, the priests, with dedication and enthusiasm. In truth you are the heart of the parish. Working together we aim to have a parish that is inclusive where everyone is and feels welcome. This always gives a feeling of a “One Family” which Christ wants to create in us. On this special season, I wish to leave a note of gratitude for your participation, support and generosity in making this parish a \'Family\'
I pray that the presence of the Christ-Child will grace your home during this Christmas season and throughout the coming year -2014. May God bless you.
Yours in the Lord,
Fr. Selvaraj Arockiam OFM, Cap.
A reading from the book of the Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14
I had vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race people and tounge.
I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, “Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the children of Israel.
After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”
All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed:
“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
The word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6
R: LORD, THIS IS THE PEOPLE THAT LONGS TO SEE YOUR FACE.
1. The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. R
2. Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD? or who may stand in his holy place? One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. R
3. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob. R
A reading from the first letter of St John 3:1-3
We shall see God as he is.
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.
The word of the Lord.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 5:1-12
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
CELEBRANT: We are called children of God, and that is what we really are. Let us pray then in all trust and love to God, who is our Father, and let us say: LORD OF GLORY, HEAR OUR PRAYER
1. For all people on earth, that their friendship, love and happiness may be a sign and foretaste of the eternal happiness that you want to give to all, let us pray. R.
2. For all Christian Churches, that they may grow in solidarity and come closer in unity, let us pray. R.
3. For those who suffer from poverty and misfortunes, from persecution and injustice, that they may be convinced that Christ is on their side, let us pray. R.
4. For those who lack the courage to break with temptation and sin and for those who dare not commit themselves to follow the gospel of Christ, that the saints may inspire them and us, let us pray. R.
5. For all of us here, that we may build community, and that the seeds of holiness may grow in our hearts and deeds, let us pray. R.
6. For our beloved dead, that they may rest secure in the love and joy of the Lord, let us pray. R.
CELEBRANT: Lord our God, you want us to be happy with your own happiness. Fill our everyday lives with your saving presence. Make us seek the kind of happiness that is real and lasting today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.....