Monsignor Robert Weiss is the pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, CT where, in the past week, nine funerals for children were prayerfully, tearfully celebrated by a faithful community. (H/T to Deacon Greg at the Bench.)
Had I written my Christmas message a couple of weeks ago as I had planned, it would have had a far different tone than this message. We have not only witnessed one of the greatest tragedies in the world, but we as a community are called to do what we can to move forward.
I have been asked so often how do we celebrate Christmas this year. I believe that we celebrate it in its truest sense, putting aside all the secularity and simply sitting in silence and praying that the hope, healing and peace promised to us by Christ will be given to us in abundance. Perhaps, at least for us as a community, we can reclaim some of what this holyday is meant to be.
We know that some hearts in this town will be broken again on Christmas morning when that one special person is not there to open their gifts. For those whose children and spouses are with them, rather than just going right for the gifts, perhaps a hug and a prayer should come first. Prayers for those for whom this day will never be the same again and hugs for those surrounding you whose life you hold as precious. We need to know that even in these darkest hours, there is still light, light that is brighter than that great star over Bethlehem, which will take us to the place where we need to be…it will take us to the heart of Christ who will heal our brokenness, remove our anger and hurt and fill us with the peace and strength we need to not just move forward but to reclaim the life that is ours as a community in Christ Jesus. Thank you for the incredible strength that you have been for me in these days and for lifting me up in your thoughts and your prayers. I pray a special Christmas for all of us this year and for all that this holy season can hold for us as believers.
Monsignor Bob Weiss
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