Every moment, most news outlets are publishing not very encouraging news about the consequences of the pandemic in our communities and families. It seems that this year is lost because this virus is causing a lot of damage. I have accompanied families who have been affected directly and indirectly for the pandemic. Sometimes, I feel brokenhearted at seeing so much suffering but when the Lord speaks to my heart, he is reminding me about the formula against despair, sadness; hatefulness; this Advent formula is Hope + Joy + Peace + Love = Christmas. Our Lord Jesus Christ is born for the redemption of the world. There is nothing to fear; God is with us: Emmanuel.
This Advent season, I was reflecting constantly on how the Lord make me hopeful. I found that I am hopeful when I see that this life is an opportunity to give every single day.
I am joyful when I see the People of God participating during Mass even with all the restrictions we have. I am joyful when I administer the Sacraments to the People of God.
I am sleeping better, I am peaceful when I know that everything is God’s hands. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and I trust in him. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Is 9,6
I am loveful. I am in love with the Lord and His Church when I know that he forgives my sins and in my unworthiness he has called me to be his priest. Thanks Lord for this great gifts
This Christmas season is lifting my soul up. This whole year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Some friends, and some friends of friends have gone before us, and some others are recovering and growing stronger in the faith. Many priests and seminarians I know have been infected and fortunately are recovering. I have seen people crying desperate because they have family members in critical situation, but practicing the Sacraments is bringing the consolation they need. The People of God is surviving this difficult times with faith in the Lord. I feel joy when I am useful to help bring consolation: hope, hoy and peace to families in despair. One of the reasons I became a priest is that I wanted to be the hands of Jesus to take care of weak, the weary and the sick.
There is one reason to be hopeful, joyful, peaceful and loveful: our Lord Jesus Christ. This situation with the virus is temporal but the Lord is eternal and he is the Word made flesh that is coming to our rescue. With the intersession of Our Mother and St Joseph we will go through this together with faith in the Lord. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn 1,14
I set the nativity scene a few days ago and today I am placing baby Jesus in the manger. I am joyful, peaceful and hopeful that our Savior is helping me to be more humble. Again, I am seeing also people recovering and how the Lord is working and bringing healing to our community with the Sacraments which remind me about the formula against the pandemic:
God’s Hope + Joy + Peace + Love = CHRISTMAS