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Dear Friends in Christ,

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, our anticipation of the coming of our Lord and Redeemer is about to be fulfilled.  Christ assures us that indeed, out of His greatest love for us, He is coming soon.  He is coming to our hearts as an infant Savior arising from the womb of our most Blessed Mother.   He is coming as the Son of the Most High, ruling as King in the throne of David, in an everlasting kingdom.  He is coming as the Son of God, saving us from this pandemic and all of life's trials and tribulation.  For nothing will be impossible for God.

In our Advent waiting, Christ looks forward with great longing to dwell in the manger of our hearts. How are we preparing for His glorious coming?  God sends us our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph as models.  Just as Christ was born in their hearts through their Fiat, so are we also called to a life of love, humility, thanksgiving and total submission to the will of God.   It is our hope that our lives would be the living prayer of our Blessed Mother, "let it be done to me according to your word"; and the living action of St. Joseph, when he awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him.

An angel of God points to us the good news of love, peace and salvation, as we encounter Christ in Scriptures and strive, through the grace of God, to act on His Word.    We are to proclaim the love and goodness of God in our thoughts, words, actions, and choices, in our relationship with God and one another.   This proclamation draws power from the Holy Spirit whom God sends to us as our helper and advocate.  The Holy Spirit is just a call away.  When our sinful hearts become lifeless in sin, the Holy Spirit rushes to us as the giver of life.  He breathes forth Christ's life of grace and holiness as we seek the Lord's forgiveness in the sacrament of Reconciliation and celebrate Christ in thanksgiving and communion in the Holy Eucharist.

And so, as we approach the coming celebration of God's greatest gift of all, let us invoke the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, St. Gabriel, the archangels, our guardian angel and all the saints in heaven. Let their powerful intercession move us to accept and fulfill God's invitation to bear Christ to one another and make known to all the nations His saving power, especially during this time of crisis.  Only then will the Christ Child be truly incarnated. Only then will the Christ Child be glorified forevermore.

Uniting prayers for God's protecting hand and healing mercies to be upon all. 

Peace and blessings in Christ,

Rev. Jonathan Paala

Pastor

"The Lord will give him the throne of David his father...and of his kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:32-33)

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