A Message from Fr. Hurley (December 19, 2021)

News December 15, 2021

Merry Christmas!

This bulletin begins on the Fourth Sunday of Advent and ends on Christmas Day. While this message may be read before Christmas Day, I wish to communicate one thought.

Peace.

I mean this in the fullest sense of the word, not simply in the common use of the word. Peace is more than an absence of conflict or simple harmony.

The word peace is heard many times from many sources through the Christmas Day scriptures, including the Vigil Mass, Night Mass, Dawn Mass and Christmas Day Mass. The prayers during Mass focus on peace. I am sure you recall the message of the angels to the shepherds. The prophets use this word often. This peace that is spoken of so generously during Christmas, the Incarnation of God into the world and into our lives, is about unity. Peace is the result of total unity with God. Jesus Christ is born into the world and yet is one with the Father. This oneness, this unity, is now offered to all people. Our salvation comes from unity or co-union with God. This is PEACE. This is the PEACE we are offered at each Mass as we prepare to receive the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is the same peace we are sometimes asked to express to one another during Mass when we are about to receive communion.

“Lord Jesus Christ,
Who said to your Apostles:
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,
Look not on our sins,
But on the faith of your Church,
And graciously grant her peace and unity
In accordance with your will.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
The Peace of the Lord be with you always.”

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is about peace, it is about unity with God, being made part of God through the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This is Eucharist…Thanksgiving.

The gift of Christmas is Christ coming into our lives in a real way in order to unite us to Himself. For the challenges and sacrifices we face in today’s world we receive the gift that overcomes all. This is why the message of peace in the scriptures during Christmas comes with a greeting that tells us, “do not fear.” We should fear nothing. We have THE GIFT, The Eucharist, Unity with God. The Christ event, Christmas, brings these glad tidings!

The Peace of the Lord be with you always.

Merry Christmas,
Fr. Hurley