Pause and treasure the gift of Christmas in our hearts

Special to Devils Lake Journal

On that first Christmas, the angels praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will.” The shepherds came and adored the newborn Savior. St. Luke wrote, “And Mary treasured all of these things and reflected on them in her heart.”

We too need to pause and treasure the gift of Christmas in our hearts. And that gift is simply Jesus, true God who became true man, who came to reveal perfectly God’s truth and love to us, who died and rose for our salvation, and who founded a family-His Church – where His presence continues in both Word and Sacrament. Treasure and reflect on the gift of Jesus and the faith you share in Him as a member of the family.

Moreover, we must not let Christmas just be a passing day. Live in the spirit of Christmas each day. Reflect upon how to better treasure this gift each day by making prayer a critical part of your day, by firstly; read Sacred Scripture. Take time to come back to the family by attending your church at Christmas!  If there are not services in your particular church….then find one near you! It always surprises me when we will do everything to go out to a sporting event, eating out at a restaurant, even getting a haircut…and then say, because of Covid 19, I am not coming to church!  It is time to come home and be with your church family!  We also should regularly make a self-examination of conscience and our need for Jesus forgiving mercy.  Moreover, we should pause for a moment to thank God for those we have been entrusted with for their care, especially our Children and our aged relatives. May such reflection of the gift of Christmas, move us by God’s grace to an even more intimate relationship with our Lord this year. May our souls be like the stable in Bethlehem where Christ first made His dwelling among us.

Fr. Wilhelm

As you may know….Christmas is my favorite time of the year!  I start counting the days after Epiphany how much “longer” I need to wait until the next Christmas.  I love the changes in people’s hearts people as Christmas time approaches!  They are much more gentle to each other.  Kindness you know never leaves a scare in the soul!  Covid 19 has affected us by personal illness, family sickness, uncertainty in jobs, and even loved ones dying.  I had eight deaths of parishioners’ in 2 days’ time. (Wow)   But then again there have been personal blessings in my life where people are experiencing the love of Christ and His Family: either by the Facebook Service and visiting the homebound who are ill.  Yes, Jesus does not ever abandon us.  That is my prayer for you this Christmas, is to realize how God, even in the midst of the struggles of our daily life, WALKS RIGHT BESIDE US AND IS IN US!

Have a Blessed Christmas!  Thank you for your friendship over the years and I pray that we stay in communion with each other by our thoughts and prayers for each other.  My promise of prayers at the Altar for you and our Lake Region Community!

Fr. Wilhelm, St. Joseph Catholic Church