It’s that time of year again when the nights are cool, the hearths are welcoming, when lights are turned on and decorations and tinsel glitter, when carols are sung and people are welcomed home. Yes, Christmas is with us again and what a joy it brings, the joy of being together, grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, all sharing, giving, and receiving.
And yet, haven’t we made Christmas a very complicated and burden-some time! We have so many things to do—the cards, the gifts, the decorations, not to mention the food and drink. Our commercial world has us preparing for Christmas earlier and earlier each year and there doesn’t seem to be enough shopping days even then, so we have to add all the intervening Sundays.
But then, isn’t it nice to remind ourselves that it becomes a burden of love in our community. The young people entertain us with their musical productions, and food and gifts are provided for the needy. The true spirit of Christmas must always remain with us because it speaks to us of love and peace, forgiveness and reconciliation, sharing richness and bearing burdens. The human heart needs Christmas. Indeed, the human mind would have created it had he not come. But isn’t it great! He has come! He, the Son of God, in the person of an infant Child, came to a cold, dark stable to satisfy the needs of the human heart and to draw us all to the brightness and warmth of his Father’s home. And so we celebrate, we give thanks, we share. We thank You, Jesus, for lighting up our Christmases, for giving warmth to our homes, for bringing us together as a family to celebrate. Stay with us, Lord Jesus, always.
My prayer this Christmas is that every home may experience the joy of Christ’s coming among us and that the joy may be shared with all the members of your family, especially with those who come home for Christmas. May the light of Christ shine in your hearts and home and may the warmth of His love heal any wounds or hurt. May those of your dear ones who cannot make it home for Christmas hear from you a word of love and an assurance of prayer. I am especially close to you who are grieving this Christmas. Be assured the merciful love of the Infant of Bethlehem envelopes your dear one in an embrace of peace. I pray this Christmas also for all of you who are sick and in the hospital. May you experience the love of Jesus as your dear ones visit you at Christmas.
To those who day after day, week after week, serve our parish community as Sacristans, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Altar Servers, Thank You. Without you there would be no St. Ambrose. Your dedication and devotion are so greatly appreciated.
To our year round parishioners as well as our seasonal parishioners, thank you for your support and affirmation. We look forward to seeing you each and every week.
And so, we’ll pull the plug on the lights, the decorations will come down, the toys will be forgotten—but the light and love of Christ will continue to enlighten our pathway as we enter a New Year, confident that He will make all things new and will fulfill our desires. A Happy and Holy Christmas to you all and every blessing and good wish for 2018!
Fr. Bryan Dalton, Pastor
The best is yet to come!