In December we welcomed two amazing seasons. As Catholics, we welcomed the birth of our Savior, Jesus in the Season of Christmas. During this season we are celebrating the gift of the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, we remember their fleeing King Herod in their flight to Egypt, and we remember the visitation of the Magi, bearing kingly gifts. We decorate with lights to celebrate that the Light of God enters the world and breaks through darkness. In the northern hemisphere, we also welcome the arrival of winter. With the arrival of winter, each new day gains a little bit of daylight. Winter sunrises and sunsets are some of the best as the different shades of colors appear and disappear across the horizon.
One of my favorite experiences of winter is when we receive heavy snow. The beauty of the falling snowflakes, the silence of a snowy night, and the quilt of snow covering the ground fills me with an awareness of God’s presence and peace. I hope that you are able to sense this yourself. As I was taught in grade school, the blanket of snow is made up of countless unique snowflakes. No one snowflake is exactly like another and yet together they make the wonderful cover of the ground.
As the parishioners of St. Monica we, together, make up the beautiful quilt of our parish community — each of us unique, beautiful as God made us, gifted as God gifts us, and united as the Body of Christ. No one else can be you. No one else can share exactly as you can. It is in the sharing from each of us that we discover all that the quilt of our parish life can be and do for God’s Kingdom. Do you ever take time to step back and savor it? Do we take time to allow the Peace of Christ, received through our community of faith, to rest in us? Do we ever step back in awe to see how God is working through us? Do we take time to breathe in the Holy Spirit and BE with God?
Allow this winter to draw into a deeper connection with God. Let us savor God’s goodness, His presence, His grace. Let us allow ourselves to feel and know that we are God’s Beloved Children. Let the growing light of winter brighten our interior life as the Light of God enters our minds, hearts, and souls. Let us be changed by all that God offers us. Then, let us share it with others who cannot see His light because there is darkness; who cannot feel His Peace because there is cold; who cannot see that they are God’s beloved because they have been told something different. Emmanuel has come, we must share this Good News!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. John P. McCaslin