Fr. Cooper's Connection
Pastor's Christmas Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
As we prepare our hearts and our homes this year to receive the coming of the Christ child, we most likely do not think of the word discipline. We know that our lives are full, especially at this time of the year. There are things to do, people to meet, activities to pursue.
We want to be fully occupied, to know that because we are busy people something important is happening in our lives. And if we are not occupied then we are at least preoccupied – filled with concern about things that have not yet come about or have already come about. Translated into modern terms, this might mean what’s left “to do” on our Christmas countdown list.
Yet, in order to follow Christ we have to live a disciplined life. Discipline means to prevent everything in our life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere we’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that we hadn’t planned or counted on.
As we ponder the story of the Nativity, we see people who showed discipline and those who were undisciplined. Mary had the discipline and faith to be used by God to bear His only begotten Son, although she could only fathom a small bit of her role in God’s plan. Joseph, having borne the disdain and scorn of those of the community, nonetheless took Mary as his wife and Jesus as his foster son. The shepherds, abiding with their flocks at night, heard the angel chorus and came with haste to Bethlehem to witness the great event. All these people found themselves open to God’s will because they had created spiritual space in their lives and it had become filled with the presence of Christ.
Others were so preoccupied with registering for the mandated census, that they totally missed the great event which had come to pass. They were so preoccupied with their mundane responsibilities and duties that there was no room for something unplanned or not counted on.
As we celebrate the ancient traditions of our faith, I pray that we would truly see the beauty and significance that all these things bring to our families and homes. Likewise, it is in sharing God’s greatest gift of love to mankind that we can reach out to others and allow them to find joy and peace in this most holy of seasons.
May your life be occupied with the things of Christ, this Christmastide! May your New Year be filled with a joyful “discipline” of faith, love and good works in His most Holy Name! Listening with ears of faith and trust, He will lead us on the way we should go.
Christmas Blessings to All!
Sent by Fr. Robert Cooper on Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 7:00PM