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-2015." 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 -2015. May God bless you.
With Prayers and Blessings
Yours in the Lord,
Fr. Selvaraj Arockiam OFM, Cap.
FIRST READING 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.
A reading from the first book of Kings.
The LORD said to Elijah: “You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of
Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.”
Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back! Have I done anything to you?”
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.
The Word of the Lord.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot." R.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. R.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. R.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever. R.
SECOND READING Gal 5:1, 13-18
You were called for freedom.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Galatians.
sisters: For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.
I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Word of the Lord.
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life.
GOSPEL Luke 9: 51-62
He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem. I will follow you wherever you go.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke
When the days for Jesus' being taken up were
fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent
messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to
prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the
destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and
John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from
to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
"The Gospel of the Lord
CELEBRANT: Jesus reminds us today that love is the fundamental law of Christianity. Let us pray to God our Father so that among us love may not remain an empty word, and let us say: R/ LORD, UNITE US IN YOUR LOVE.
1. For the Church, the People of God, that with the strength of our commitment we may be a voice and a force promoting justice and love among people and among nations, let us pray:
2. For the Churches groping for unity, that one day they may eat together the one bread of the one Lord, let us pray:
3. For scientists and economists, that by their inventions and endeavors they may promote the quality of life and human freedom and dignity for all, let us pray:
4. For all people of good will, that they may build up together a just society based on fairness and love, where there is no room for any discrimination, let us pray:
5. For all of us here, that we may form a community of service, love and hope, open to all needs and all just aspirations, let us pray:
CELEBRANT: God of hope, in you we trust. Renew us, our lives and our world through him who is your presence among us, Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.