Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Words from Fr Ed (From Dec 19th, 2010 Bulletin)

Emmanuel – God is with us

Jesus’ prophetic name, ‘Emmanuel’, is our testimony as Catholic Christians. “God is with us” is a statement that we ought to believe, experience, and profess as Catholics. As Christians we believe that Jesus is God. Some have believed that He was a holy man who pointed to God; that He was teaching us by example to call God our Father. Our faith goes far beyond this. We believe that His name, Emmanuel, speaks of the literal Divinity of Christ. Do you believe this?
Pope Leo the Great wrote in a letter to Bishop Flavian in 449 AD:

Without detriment therefore to the properties of either nature and substance which then came together in one person, majesty took on humility, strength weakness, eternity mortality; and for the paying off of the debt belonging to our condition inviolable nature was united with possible nature, so that, as suited the needs of our case, one and the same Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, could both die with the one and not die with the other.

Faith tells us this is both possible and true. Reason alone cannot fathom this. What about the Christmas story do you find incredible? Does it not touch your heart? Pope Leo goes on to say:

The nativity of the flesh was the manifestation of human nature: the childbearing of a virgin is the proof of Divine power. The infancy of a babe is shown in the humbleness of its cradle: the greatness of the Most High is proclaimed by the angels' voices. He whom Herod treacherously endeavours to destroy is like ourselves in our earliest stage: but He whom the Magi delight to worship on their knees is the Lord of all.

Above Image Used with permission of John Brandi Co., Inc.


My apologies to all who have tried to contact me or have left messages and not heard back from me. As much as I continue to reorganize my schedule to accommodate phone calls, mail, emails, drop-in visitors, emergencies and texts, it seems impossible to get back to everyone. Please be patient as well with our administrative staff as they do a great job of managing an enormous quantity of work.

The reality of the priest shortage continues to manifest itself, though I am happy to say a growing number of young people are seeking spiritual direction for vocational discernment, which the Archdiocese has asked me to assist with. This is an investment for the future which cuts into my time available for St. Stephen’s but as a Church I believe we have to make this sacrifice today for a better tomorrow. I do pray for all of you daily and hope you do the same for me during this beautiful Advent Season.

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