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Isaiah 9:1-6 “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing; They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest, as they exult when dividing the spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, the rod of their taskmaster, you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, upon David’s throne, and over His kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever.”

Blessed and Merry Christmas to you and your families! Written roughly 700 years

before Jesus was born, this prophecy from Isaiah even now gives us hope, for it reminds us that God is always faithful to His promises. What He foretold has come to us. All that is proclaimed here is meant to be accomplished in us no matter where this Christmas finds us.

We may be in that place where we simply need to be reminded of hope. That while our

lives may be very dark, there is a light that can pierce that darkness. We all have a need to know that we are seen, known and that we are not alone. Despite the promises of social media and modern technology to connect us, so many feel utterly isolated. Christmas speaks the truth to the lie. Jesus speaks the truth to the lie. You are never alone! You are known by Him, seen by Him, loved by Him. And He longs to draw near as He did that Christmas day. If you feel alone, take some time to invite Him in.

We may be in the place where we need to put down our burdens, or if they need to be

carried, to share them with Jesus, not to carry them by ourselves. Christmas can be a wake-up call where we realize we have been living by the dictates and demands of the world. Simply chasing after money, security, fleeting happiness, the next good thing, etc. The world is a cruel taskmaster that only uses us up. God offers us life itself, a way to live in the world but not be formed by it. To pursue good things but not replace the Creator with them. I have known those, who because of this wonderful season, looked at their priorities and put first things first. Here is where joy is found.

We may be in the place where the light of Christmas simply reminds us of our many,

many blessings. A day, a season, when we can look at our families, our vocations, our state in life, and be overawed by God’s goodness in bringing us to the place He has brought us. Things that we lose sight of amidst life’s busyness, but is right in front of us if we but stop to see it, appreciate it, and say Thank you. Thank you, Jesus, for all you have done and given me. Thank you for all the prayers answered, the protection offered, the dangers and temptations averted.

We may be in the place where there is something that needs to be set right. Invite Jesus

in, and we enter into a Kingdom of justice. It can be done in us. I love the stories of those who in this season have made major changes, addressing long standing bad habits, surrendering sins either recent or long past in Confession, offering forgiveness or asking for it. This is a season of grace. Let Him work in you to bring a wholeness we can never bring ourselves!

God Bless,

Fr. Todd

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