Today, many of us will come together with family and loved ones for a Christmas celebration. We may be at our own home or we may be visiting others as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
In the time of the Apostles, there were no basilicas, no cathedrals and no church buildings. Rather, the faithful would gather in one another's home to give worship to God. The prayers they recited, the hymns they sang, the signs of peace they expressed, the love they showed for one another all were ways of saying, "Jesus, we love you."
Two thousand years later, there still exists -- at least one day each year -- a Church that is in your home. Every December 25, each of us turns our home into a place of prayer. When we gather there on that date, we do so above all, to rejoice in the birth of our Savior. Jesus alone is the reason for our celebration.
With every Christmas song we sing, with every ornament we place on the tree, with every Yule log we place in the fireplace, we are in fact, worshipping Jesus. The meal we share, the grace before meals that is prayed, the gifts that we exchange, the warmth with which we embrace one another are all parts of our Christmas celebration.
Though in our home there is no altar, no stained glass windows, no sanctuary or sacristy, the love we share in Jesus's name radiates as it does when we gather in Church. The very name of Christ is mentioned every time we say, Merry Christmas.
To all parishioners of St. Joseph's and your families, Merry Christmas to you and the Church that is in your home.
Sincerely in Christ,