Christmas is a time of mystery, excitement and remembrance. It is a time of meaningful prayers, beautiful liturgies and heartfelt music. It is a time of decorations, gatherings, wonderful food and animated children. It can be a special time for family and friends.
Christmas for me is a time for me to remember my father. Christmas morning 2018 will be the thirty-sixth anniversary of my father’s death. You might think that his death on Christmas Day has made every Christmas since then sad and difficult. Yes there have been some difficult Christmases. But I find myself celebrating Christmas in a much deeper way since my father’s death. It is a gift, a blessing to remember Christ’s birth into this world and my father’s birth into eternal life on the same day!
The Christmas Season can be joyous and wonderful but it can also be a struggle. It can be the best of life but it can also intensify the struggles that all of us live through from time to time. Our challenge is always to focus on the gift, the blessing, the grace of God’s love and how that love touches our lives even in the midst of difficult and struggling times.
As we get ready for the Christmas and New Year’s journey let us remember that some of us struggle with loneliness, the pain of remembering loved ones who are no longer with us and the struggles, disappointments and challenges of life. Wherever you find yourself these days take some time during this Christmas Season to be touched by its true meaning. The gift and meaning of Christmas lies beyond gifts, trees, decorations and merriment. While these things are good, fun and helpful – the true meaning of Christmas is the profound love that God offers us in his own Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the gift of Christmas, Jesus, touches our world in a radical and life giving way. He came amongst us and continues to come amongst us. In making the decision to be born into our human experience over 2000 years ago, Jesus gave us the opportunity to know his heart more intimately so that we have the chance to participate in his mission as he is born in our hearts each and every day of our life.
The most profound way that we can celebrate the gift of this season is through the Eucharist and once again we offer you a special one-hour Christmas Mass. We hope to make this year celebration a wonderful encounter with the most profound gift that God has given us. This year, Fr. James O’Shea, C.P., the Provincial of our Passionist Province in the Eastern United States will lead us in our Christmas celebration.
Please check your local TV listing for the times that The Christmas Mass will be aired. Please note because Christmas is not on a Sunday, The Christmas Mass will not be on the Freeform Channel this year. If you usually watch The Sunday Mass on the Freeform Channel please remember you can still watch The Christmas Mass because it will be available for viewing beginning on Christmas Eve at our website www.TheSundayMass.org.
Please know that during this most holy time of the year we would like to remember your Intentions in a prayerful way. Please use the form attached to this letter to tell us who and what you would like us to pray for during this Christmas season.
We will place your Intentions next to the altar throughout the Christmas season and lift your prayer to God as we lift our voices, minds, hearts, and spirits in prayer during The Sunday Mass celebrations.
May God’s joyful and holy blessings be upon you and those you love throughout the Christmas Season and always.
Peace in the Child Jesus,
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P.
Pastor and Host of The Sunday Mass