Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Jesus is the reason for this season. We have now entered into the season of Advent. In this season of hope and joyful expectation we are reminded of the good news of Christmas and God coming to us. He is Emmanuel, God with us. This day the Divine became human. As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, we remember how God first gave a home to the needy couple by being born in a stable. As we remember the birth of Jesus and re-create the stable, I ask that you take part in providing a “roof” for the Holy Child. This Christmas, let us be mindful of those who are in need of our welcome – a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a fellow parishioner. Let us make room in our hearts for forgiveness and love and reach out to those who are asking for them. In addition, Pope Francis keeps reminding us not to forget the poor. During this season of giving, let us also find time to help the needy. Let us extend God’s gift of generosity by helping a family in need, visiting the sick and those feeling lonely during this pandemic. Through these simple actions we are able to bring Christ to others this Christmas.
This year the Easter and Christmas seasons have been different. We all experienced and continue to live through this experience of ‘lock-down’ due to the COVID 19 pandemic. We face many new challenges but also new opportunities. With our ‘staying home’ we discovered the importance of being together as family and supporting each other in the time of illness and fear. However, the closing of so many businesses and public institutions brings with it a serious reduction of or loss of regular income.
Your support to your parish St Mary Cause of Our Joy has been amazing in these unprecedented times. I am very impressed by your help in many ways. You were there when your parish needed you, may it be financial support or otherwise. I have seen many volunteers preparing churches before and after Masses making it safe for all our parish family. I remind you that your first obligation is to your family and loved ones but any small amount you can give towards your Parish, will make a difference. The generosities of your gifts given to the Lord are modeled upon what the Three Kings presented to the newborn King. We are grateful to you for your generosity.
The backbone of our parish are those who volunteer, we have a long list of those dedicated and committed members too numerous to mention. As your pastor, I treasure the gift of you and the dedication, sacrifices, and hard work you have shown to make this parish a beacon of Christ’s love and I say THANK YOU.
The parish staff and I, promise you to keep you in our prayers. Know that we pray for you, your loved ones and your intentions. Thank you for lifting us in prayer as well. May you have the grace to find happiness and joy this Christmas and throughout the New Year 2021. I would like to remind you of my words at my installation July 2019, “Westland into Joy land”.
Fr. Shafique Masih