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 first book of the Kings 3:5, 7-12
You have asked for wisdom.
The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Solomon answered: “O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. So God said to him: “Because you have asked for this— not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right— I do as you requested. I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you.”
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
R: LORD, I LOVE YOUR COMMANDS.
1. I have said, O LORD, that my part is to keep your words. The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R. 2. Let your kindness comfort me according to your promise to your servants. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. R.
3. For I love your command more than gold, however fine. For in all your precepts I go forward; every false way I hate. R.
4. Wonderful are your decrees; therefore I observe them. The revelation of your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple. R.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans 8:28-30
God predestined us to be confirmed to the image of his Son.
Brothers and sisters: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.
The Word of the Lord.
Blessed are you Father, Lord of heaven and earth; for you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:44-52
He sells all that he has and buys the field.
Jesus said to his disciples: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant Searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what Is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
The Gospel of the Lord GENERAL INTERCESSIONS:
CELEBRANT: The ministry entrusted to us, the Church, is to pray for everyone and all, that they may discover the treasure of faith. Let us say: LORD, HEAR YOUR PEOPLE.
1. For all Christians, that they may hold dear their faith and their life in Christ and keep living up to their convictions, let us pray to the Lord. R.
2. For people everywhere, that they may open their eyes and their hearts to the Good News of Jesus Christ, let us pray. R.
3. For the leaders of nations, that as they work for prosperity and progress they may not lose sight of what is essential, that is: people, and the deepest human values, let us pray. R.
4. For those who are rich in possessions and talents, that they may put their gifts and goods at the service of people, let us pray. R.
5. For the sick and the poor among us, that they may discover in the loving care of people something of the goodness of God himself, let us pray. R.
6. For our young people, that their parents and the Church may hand on to them their living faith and the spirit to serve God and people well, let us pray. R.
CELEBRANT: Lord, we thank you that in you we have found the treasure that makes our life worthwhile. Keep us in your love, now and forever. R/ Amen.