Christmas Day 2016

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“The Creative Night” Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

Click here to also read an article from the website of the Congregation of Holy Cross, where this art appears.

Click here to read full bulletin from Sacred Heart Church.

My dear followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace,

Welcome to Christmas! Welcome to our prayerful celebrations at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel in Manitou Springs, Holy Rosary Chapel in Cascade and Sacred Heart Church in Old Town, Colorado Springs.

I am grateful for your presence and most especially your prayer as we celebrate the Incarnation, the miracle and mystery of Hope in our world. Welcome to you who join us for the first time and welcome to our long time parishioners. Welcome to those of you who are searching for a spiritual home and those of you who ache for God’s forgiveness and tenderness this silent and holy night.

Today, we gather in faith to treasure the love God initiates in our lives. The Real Presence of Jesus unites our families. Although Jesus offers us healing and peace, I am also aware that a lack of forgiveness still creates division and uncertainty within our families. Our world is still restless and violent. Even at our family tables during these beautiful days, we argue over our differences and still feel the hurt from our past relationships. In fact, today can also be the loneliest time of year for some of our elderly still grieving the loss of a spouse or for a high school student who cannot believe he or she will ever find love.

We gather as families and as believers around the manger scene to discover for our own lives that we are loved in the here and now, beyond our selfishness and even beyond our fear. The gospel (Luke 2: 1-14) for Christmas Eve and the gospel (John 1:1-18) proclaimed on Christmas Day, both invite us to open our hearts to God-made-flesh. The miracle of this day reaches far beyond the warmth of our family hearth, but extends to the areas of violence and war in our streets and throughout our world. Each one of us becomes an instrument of such love in our words, our actions and our service. God depends on us to keep the flame of hope burning in our world. However, we cannot give what we do not have. God alone provides the justice, love and peace we are all searching for in our world and so we turn to God alone this Christmas Day.

Thank you all for your love and service within our parish community this past year. I look forward to the ways in which God is calling us further into practicing our faith in our communities and beyond.

If you are searching for God or questioning your own life, please know you are welcome here. My prayer for us all is that we may open our hearts this Christmas Day to the wonder and tenderness of God’s mercy and find for ourselves that we are loved beyond measure.

With prayer and gratitude, Merry Christmas,

Fr. Ron

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