As we near the end of the Christmas Season, we continue to celebrate and welcome the coming of Jesus into our hearts as Mary and Joseph did with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The full Christmas mystery involves both experiencing joy with Jesus’ coming, along with the call to trust and do God’s Will. Mary and Joseph were overwhelmed with joy and awe as they held Jesus and witnessed the homage of the humble shepherds and the wise men! Mary and Joseph also trusted in the Will of God as they faced real challenges and uncertainties, such as finding a place to stay in Bethlehem and fleeing to Egypt from King Herod!
As we live the full Christmas mystery ourselves, we too share the joy of Jesus’ coming into our hearts! Jesus — who was born in a manger (a feeding troth) in Bethlehem (“house of bread” in Hebrew) — is born into our hearts, especially in the Eucharist as the Bread of Life. He is also born in our trusting and doing God’s Will as we face the real changes and challenges. In our Haven of Mercy Area Catholic Community, it was a big transition for us to come together as a six-parish family community this last July 1. It was a shock and hard thing for us to lose a priest. It is a great challenge to adapt to a new Mass schedule that can be sustained by two priests. It continues to be a growing process as we work together, which often requires openness to new things. As Mary and Joseph must have felt, we can experience a whole range of emotions in responding to our real challenges and God’s Will. This is normal and human. And yet, Jesus is born and present to us in these places of our hearts and community.
I want to invite everyone to come to a meeting to address the state of the Haven of Mercy ACC on Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls. It will be an opportunity for us to gather together as a six-parish community to pray together, acknowledge the challenges we are facing, and to hear about how we can move forward together! It will also be an opportunity to meet many of the staff members of the Haven of Mercy Area Catholic community and to ask questions and offer concerns.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Ben Kociemba,