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.
21-23 NOVEMBER 2014
A reading from the prophet Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
As for you my flock, I will judge between one sheep to another.
Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.
As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
R: THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; THERE IS NOTHING I SHALL WANT.
1. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose. R.
2. Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. R.
3. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. R.
4. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. R.
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians
Christ will hand over the kingdom to his God and Father; so that God may be all in all.
Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
The Word of the Lord.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
The Son of Man will sit upon his glorious throne and he will separate them one from another.
Jesus said to his disciples: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
The Gospel of the Lord
CELEBRANT: Let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ for all those who need our compassion and care, for all those who commit themselves to the poor. Let us say: LORD, MAKE US SERVE YOU IN PEOPLE.
1. For all who have lost their way in life we cry out to you to make the Church welcome them and give them you and your Good News to live for, we pray. R.
2. With all people driven from their homes, with the many victims of war and civil strife, with all strangers living in foreign lands, we cry out that people may be hospitable to them, and so we pray. R.
3. With all those who hunger for food, who thirst for justice, who crave for human dignity, we cry out that we may hear your voice in them, and so we pray. R.
4. With all those who care for the sick and the handicapped, with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives, we cry out that we may recognize you in those who need affectionate, loving care. And so we pray. R.
5. With all those who are imprisoned because of their convictions, with all those who are persecuted; who are prisoners of their hatred, their greed or their failings, we ask you to free them, and so we pray. R.
CELEBRANT: The voices that cry out to us, the eyes that plead with us, may we recognize you in them, Lord, and love you in them. Be near to us, now and forever. Amen.