As we reflect on the coming of our Lord during this grace-filled time of year, it is fitting to take a deep breath, find a peaceful place, and quietly reflect.
Reflect on this past year. Think about the many blessings you received over the past 365 days and take a few moments to simply bask in gratitude. Think about your children, your parents, your grandchildren, your congregation, and your friends. Thank Him for His constant material and spiritual providence for you and your family members.
Consider the constancy of food, water, shelter, and love that you both received, and gave, throughout the past year. Despite the many emotional, physical, and spiritual crosses that many of us bear, our basic needs for survival have been, and continue to be, met — and for that alone, may we be truly thankful.
When you think about it, while this Christmas season is about love, hope, thanksgiving and salvation, it’s primarily about restoration.
Consider, for a moment, why our Father sent us His son. He did not send us His son in order to create a new world, or develop a new kingdom; He sent His son to restore the world. In Genesis it says that God looked at the world He had created and said, “It is good” (Genesis 1:31).
Christ was born of our Blessed Mother to restore the peace, the love, and the hope of His Father. He came to eradicate sin and open the door to salvation — He came to rekindle the relationship between God the Father and every one of His beloved children.
He came to love us, and to teach us how to love.
Christ calls us to serve the marginalized — the weakest, the poorest, the sickest among us. He calls us to lay down our lives for those who have been forgotten, for those who are lost. Our charge as His people is to serve those whom He has placed at the forefront of our minds and our hearts — no matter the cost.
Our missionary priests live their lives in an attempt to be the kind of men who answer this call. In the field, they work tirelessly trying to become agents of God's mercy by being present in the lives, joys, and struggles of those they witness to.
They strive to create a restorative culture in which the poorest among society can know the fullness of their identity in Christ; that all might know our Lord’s loving touch and His abounding presence.
Our missionaries seek to answer the Lord’s call to love like He did, working earnestly to serve as His hands and His feet all around the world by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, nurturing the sick, educating the uneducated, and pastoring the brokenhearted.
Our missionaries fight for justice and preach the Gospel in an effort to restore the world to the way God intended it to be.
As Advent comes to a close and we formally begin the Christmas season, may we all take some time to not only thank the Father for all He has done, but also ask Him to show us how we can best assist Him in the work of building His kingdom on Earth.
May we all listen attentively to His still soft voice, and respond in someway or another, to the needs of those who are less fortunate than us. He may not call all of us to the front lines of the battle, but He has called us all to help support the efforts of those on the front lines.
As we enter into this time of remembrance, remembrance of the birth of the Savior of the world, may we remember that His mission was to restore the world — to restore us.
May we fervently pray for our missionaries, and all missionaries, in a special way this holiday season: may the Father’s joy and peace be made evident to them in new ways over the next few weeks, may they receive unexpected financial blessings so as to finish off the year in good hope, and may their flocks continue to grow closer to Jesus through the pastoral care of our priests.
On behalf of our 841 missionary priests from around the world, I wish you a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year. May our Lord’s favor rest upon you and your loved ones in a new and special way!
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