Dear Friends in Christ,
As 2020 draws to a close, a sad year for us due to the catastrophic pandemic, let us not fail to look back and thank God for the numerous blessings He has showered upon us.
Although we have been deprived of our normal lives, separated from our loved ones, with limited activities, unable to freely worship the Lord, we remain grateful for the gift of God's divine Spirit who has brought Christ to our hearts and united all of us to His Heart as well.
The Holy Spirit was able to manifest His power more than ever, through moments of spiritual communion among the faithful who continued worshipping the Lord in streamlined Eucharistic celebrations. We are thankful to the Lord for the grace of Eucharistic gatherings, rain or shine, and for His gift of reconciliation. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to the Spirit of God Whose love continues to unfold through the charitable works of our St. Luke's St. Vincent de Paul organization, Sandwiches on Sunday, and through all your untiring generous support.
We thank God for things that remain, His constant and unconditional love, fully alive in Christ our Savior and in our Blessed Mother whose feast we celebrate at the beginning of the year. God assures us that we have a Mother who loves us so much and greatly cares for us, just as She loved and cared for Her Infant, Jesus our Lord, from Her divine womb until His cruel suffering and death on the Cross. We have a most Blessed Mother who is one with our suffering, knows all our pains, struggles and difficulties, and as a tender loving Mother, would want to bear all our burdens, in union with Her Divine Son. We have a most Holy Mother who leads us always to Christ, aspiring that all of us Her children would come to follow, serve and love Her Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Her most beloved Spouse.
As we usher in 2021, let us all consecrate and entrust ourselves and our families to our Most Blessed Mother. Let us continually seek Her intercession, and with Her unwavering faith and love for the Lord, face the coming year with an expectant hope of a better and brighter year, a year filled with Christ's promise of healing, renewal and grace.
Remembering all your intentions, in thanksgiving to God for all of you, dear friends, at our St. Luke's 10AM Holy Mass on January 1st, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. I invite all of you to unite as one community in praising and thanking God for the year that has passed and for all His bountiful favors and saving presence in the coming year.
Spirit-enriched blessings in Christ,
Rev. Jonathan Paala
"The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!" (Numbers 22:26-27)