We have come to the last Sunday of Advent. Once again, the Fourth Sunday of Advent is quite a short one and we have only two days to pray and reflect about it, before celebrating a beautiful Christmas! During the four weeks of Advent as we approach Christmas, we have been preparing for the Child Jesus to be born again in our hearts and in our homes.
There are groups of people who simply do not want to sing or listen to Christmas music and Christmas carols until 25 December. However, I was listening to Advent hymns as well as carols since the First Week of Advent. They have brought me a kind of joy and pleasure as I prepare for the Big Day. I believe this form of listening to Christmas music and carols has allowed me to experience the joy of the Christmas season.
St. Paul advises that we should rejoice always and rejoice in the Lord. We share the ideal gift of joy to everyone we meet during Christmas. It is also the kind of gift that everyone needs. The gift of joy may dismiss their worries and anxieties and the peace of God will be experienced in their hearts and minds, (cf. Philippians 4:4-7).
We will be entering into Christmastide as we echo, “Christ has been born for us; come let us adore him.” The reason for the season is celebrating the greatest birthday, the birthday of Our Lord and Saviour on Christmas Day – Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and placed in the manger for all of us to adore Him. As the glory of the Lord shines on the entire world, let our lips, our hearts, minds, and souls be filled with praises and glory all the day of our lives (cf. Ps 70).
During this Advent, we have reached out to seventy infirmed elderly and sick at their homes. These people are unable to encounter Jesus in the Sacraments regularly due to their inabilities, age or illnesses. Some of them are going through a kind of spiritual war and others are undergoing emotional problems, loneliness, depression and rejection. They need our companionship, our visits, our prayers and support.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him or her with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him or her up. And if he or she has committed sin, he or she will be forgiven,” (James 5:13-15). St. James emphasises that the Church has always cared for her sick and dying, and always rejoices with the gifts of healing and forgiveness.
Through our recent visits to their homes and through the administration of the Sacraments of Holy Anointing, Holy Communion and Confession, these surely would have brought a kind of comfort and strength – physically and spiritually. Let’s always remember the elderly, sick and dying members of our Parish in a special way during this season and pray that Jesus’ birth once again brings joy in the depths of their hearts this Christmas.
May the light of joy, love and happiness shine on us, and our lives be filled with blessings this Christmas season. We pray that the spirit of Christmas be kept alive in our hearts and our homes always.
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE! HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON, AND ALL THE BEST IN THE NEW YEAR 2020! MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BE BLESSED WITH PEACE, LOVE AND JOY.
by, Rev. Fr. George P.