Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Who is the Christ?
We must know who Jesus Christ is. It may appear silly or stupid to raise the question about the identity of Jesus Christ, yet it is a profound question that demands an answer. Jesus Christ is the beloved Son of God. At the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, the heaven opened up and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descended upon him and the Father’s voice came from heaven, addressing Jesus: “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased” (Lk 3:22). As the Only Begotten Son of the Father, Jesus embarks on the mission of redemption. Through Jesus’ baptism in the Holy Spirit, he is anointed and empowered to do good and bring healing to “all those oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38), “to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness” (Isaiah 42:7). This is good news. Now that we have answers to the question: who is the Christ?, let us advance into the new year with courage and faith because we have been baptized in him “with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Lk 3:16). Knowing who he is, the anointed one and Son of God, we know ourselves better; adopted sons and daughters of God. Let us live out our identity; we are beloved sons and daughters of the Father. Reflect deeply about your baptism and its implication on this last day of the Christmas season.
As we come to the close of the Christmas season, I want to seize the moment to say THANK YOU to all of you who have made the season a joyful one. In addition, I am indebted to many of you who created time to bring the Christmas joy to live in the parish: thanks to the team responsible for the decorations in the historical church and the church on the hill, thanks to the extraordinary minister of the Holy Communion, lectors, altar servers, ushers, money counters, the choirs, and the musicians. I also extend my appreciation to the various parish groups that helped create the Christmas spirit in the parish: St Vincent de Paul Society, Men’s Club, Council of Catholic Women, Knights of Columbus, and others that I may have failed to mention.
I am grateful for all the Christmas gifts I received from you: parish societies, families, and individuals. Our Father in heaven will reward your generosity. I extend to you the promise of Jesus Christ, the Father’s Only Begotten Son: “whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
In His Love,
Fr. Bernard, OP