Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, greetings in the Holy and Undivided Trinity, in He Who is One God and Three Divine and Distinct Persons. May you be forever blessed in He Who Was, and IS and Is to Come. Amen.
Our One, Holy and Indefectible Mother Church, the Beloved Virgin Bride of Our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ, is currently being beset on every side and indeed most foully from within. In these trials, which we must endure, and I fear, shall greatly intensify, it is all too easy to shift our gaze from the gift of the Incarnation of the Son of God to the foulness of our present age. For we are weak and frail creatures and are all too frequently caught up in the tempest of this present distress. And, indeed, if we are not ever vigilant we can allow ourselves to be besmirched by it.
This being so, it is my simple and earnest desire to share these few words of consolation and encouragement with you as we approach the most holy mystery of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word.
God, Who does all things well, has foreordained that in 2016, the Festival of Hanukkah would fall on the 25th of Kislev, as it did the very first time, and does each and every year, Except this year the 25th of Kislev is also the 25th day of December in the Gregorian Calendar: the Nativity of Our Lord according to the Flesh.
For God there are no coincidences, only His holy and all-encompassing Providence. On the 25th Day of Kislev in 162 B.C. (please, let there be no faithless E added) the people of God in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the purification and re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The menorah (known as the Lamp of God) only had enough oil to burn for one day, and yet it burned for an entire octave until new oil arrived to replenish it, thus testifying to God’s Holy favor resting upon His people — people who kept to His covenant despite the terrible persecutions they faced. This ultimately to prefigured the Holy Birth of the Messiah on the 25th of Kislev, the True and Eternal Light coming into the world; Who would be circumcised on the 8th day according to the Law of Moses for the replenishment of His people with the blessed Unction of the Holy Spirit.
In Faith, I firmly believe that our Blessed Lord is reminding us that His favor is upon His humble and faithful people. That He has not abandoned us to those who have given themselves over to the spiritus mundi and are presently defiling the Most Blessed Sacrament with their encouragement of adultery and sacrilege. Indeed, He Who Was, and IS and Is to Come, is in the process of purifying and rededicating His Holy Temple.
Holy Faith tells us that great and awesome wonders await those who hold fast to Him and abide in His Covenant during times of persecution. Judas Maccabeus faced a far superior force of arms and yet, with the Help of God, he stood up and was victorious over the enemies of the Lord. And so shall we be if we keep to His Covenant, for the Host of Heaven is with us, and HE WHO IS shall provide the holy victory.
Our Lord and Savior did not despise our weak and corruptible nature, rather He took it to Himself and in so doing bequeathed unto us who abide in Him, His Own Divine and Incorruptible Nature. He is Emmanuel, God Truly with us, and He has tabernacled Himself amongst us.
So then, gird yourselves in His Holy Righteousness and Confess the One, Holy, Indefectible Catholic and Apostolic Faith with your lips and with your life. And please do take yourself to the confessional to be absolved of your wretched sins; repent, and amend your ways to more perfectly conform with The Way, the Truth and the Life. Be a purified Temple for Him, rededicate yourself to Him and show forth His Divine Love in what you say and do.
This Christmas gaze upon the sanctuary lamp and remember what it signifies, The Eternal Light, God from God, Light from Light, Begotten not Made, Consubstantial with the Father and transubstantiated to tabernacle Himself amongst us and for us. Then, let thine eyes gaze in wonder upon the Living Bread come down from Heaven in order to feast you upon Himself Who is The Eternal Word Incarnate: Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Son of Mary Blessed and Ever Virgin. Open thy lips and receive Him Who IS, Who Was and Is to come into your being that His Divine Hope may spring eternal in your blessed soul. And then lift your voice and rejoice with His saints and holy angels, for God is victorious forever and ever, Amen.
The Holy Infant is the eternal and ever abiding light, and he comes to us through the Holy Family of St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, and of the Blessed Immaculate Ever Virgin Mary the crusher of the serpent (who is decidedly not rigid.) Through your Holy Baptism, you belong to the Holy Family of God and you have an inheritance that cannot be corrupted by the devil nor the flesh, nor those who give themselves over to either: it can only be lost by you — so do not give in to befouling yourself on account of another’s sin.
Great things are upon us, let us rise up and meet them with holy faith, living hope and love-filled joy, for God is our Savior, our Strong Deliverer Who is for us and with us and dwelling in our very midst. Let not Christ abide alone in the tabernacle with only the sanctuary lamp to keep Him company. Let us accompany Him! Let us rededicate ourselves to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, whether exposed in the monstrance or veiled behind the tabernacle doors. Let us console Him for the many sacrileges that offend Him every day, especially at the hands of His unworthy minsters. Let us offer our Holy Communions for the souls that are being led astray by wicked and false shepherds and let us pray the Holy Rosary DAILY for the intention their days be lessened and that others, who are more worthy, take their offices. Amen.
May I close by wishing you all a Very Mary Christ-Mass unto eternity. Amen.
With Faith, Hope and Love in the Heart of the Incarnate Word,
Father RP is the Pastor of two small town Catholic Parishes in the hinterland. He has served in parish ministry since ordination, and also as a priest confessor/spiritual director for a Carmelite Monastery for seven years. Prior to answering the call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ he did all kinds of things, including turning away from atheism and agnosticism. He has a few degrees from places called universities, but they don’t mean much.