December 23, 2018
Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Christmas is about love: God’s love for us and (hopefully)
our love for Him. He has proven His love by becoming a little
baby, a truthful teacher, a merciful healer, a mighty Savior on
the Cross, a triumphant conqueror in the Resurrection and an
expectant judge who seeks to gather us into His heavenly
kingdom. God has done great things for us! But, what have we
done for Him?
How do we show our love for God? Coming to Mass every
Sunday and holy day makes a return to the Lord for all that He
has given (and continues to give) to us. God is preparing a place
for us in heaven. The Holy Mass is the gateway to our heavenly
home. If we don’t go through the gate (Mass) we cannot enter
the dwelling (heaven).
Daily prayer proves that we desire to have a relationship with
Jesus. If we don’t want to talk to Him, why would we want to
spend eternity with Him? Prayer helps us to get to know Jesus
and allows Him to get to know us. The parable about the Foolish
Virgins shows that the Lord refuses entrance into His wedding
feast to those He does not know. Does God know you? Prayer
makes us known to God.
Love for the poor is another way to prove your love for God.
Jesus promises to reward those who love the least among us.
How do you serve the poor? The poor, sick, hungry, naked,
imprisoned is Jesus. Serving the poor is service to God Himself.
Please turn to God! He desires an intimate relationship with
you. Come to know Him and be known by Him. He has come to
earth in human form and remains with us. This Christmas
resolve to love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul and
strength. His love is His gift to us. What is your gift to Him?
HIS HOLINESS, POPE FRANCIS
00120 Vatican City
MOST REVEREND DAVID J. MALLOY
Bishop of Rockford
P.O. Box 7044
Rockford, IL 61125
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