Dear Parishioner and Friend of The Sunday Mass,
Christmas is a time of many emotions for me. First of all it is a wonderful Holy Day and holiday. It is a time of meaningful prayers, beautiful liturgies and heartfelt music. It is also a time of family, friends, decorations, gatherings, wonderful food and excited children. But for me it is also a time to remember my father. My Dad died on Christmas morning thirty-five years ago. You might think that his death on Christmas Day has made every Christmas since then sad and difficult. If I am honest, yes there have been some difficult Christmases, especially in the first few years. But I have come to celebrate Christmas in a deeper way since my father’s death. There is something special about remembering 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 what life is but it can also amplify the struggles that all of us live through from time to time. Our challenge is always to focus on the gift of God’s love and how that love touches our lives even in the midst of difficult and struggling times.
As we make this Christmas and New Year’s journey let us remember that some of us struggle with loneliness, the pain of remembering family and friends who are no longer with us and the distractions and busyness of life. Wherever you find yourself these days take some time during this Christmas Season to pause and 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, God 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 and vision 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.
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 merciful blessings be upon you and those you love throughout this holy season and always.
Peace in the Child Jesus,
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P.
Pastor and Host of The Sunday Mass