My Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
We are in the Season of Christmas; yet, we also begin a new calendar year. During the Season of Advent, we made ready for the coming of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. We prayed to God to make within us a clean heart. We offered sacrifice upon God’s altar and we received Him in the Eucharist.
Now, as we begin this new calendar year, we also think about changes that are needed. Our minds may ponder healthier options for eating, exercising, or reducing our expenses. In this Season of Christmas, I ask you to be sure that God is in the midst of your prospective changes – and that you allow yourself to realize the fullness of His love.
One way to think about our resolutions is to pray about how God is calling you to bring Him within our midst. I would ask that every Catholic in the Diocese of Orlando take up the resolution to Receive the Eucharist and Be the Eucharist; to really make our daily living a holy experience. As Isaiah foretold, let our heart throb and overflow with God’s love that we bring forth the wealth of His love to one another.
As God delivers to us the riches of the sea, born in a trough as the Water of Life, He invites each one of us to give our lives completely, without measurement or personal interest, without thinking, “what’s in it for me?” With the Eucharist, He gives Himself to us so that we are able to receive Him and continue our journey with Him each day. As we are reborn with this new year, let us keep our Baptismal Covenant with Jesus to love Him above all things and to serve Him in our brothers and sisters.
Jesus did not come into the world alone or lonely. He came announced by prophets and choirs of angels. The people long awaited His coming. The walls of His dwelling place are created with each one of us. We are a part of God’s story. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, encourages us to “write stories of redemption on the pages of our time.” As we receive Christ in the Eucharist, we continue salvation history for Jesus Christ is yesterday, today and forever.
I ask you this new year to not sway from your focus on God. Come to Mass. Receive the Eucharist – receive Jesus. Leave the holy altar of the sanctuary and Be the Eucharist – BE- going out into the world glorifying the Lord with your life. Let everyone know Jesus through your marvelous works of charity; by the words you speak and the way you treat all the people. Grow your works of charity that our unified heart throbs and overflows. Let every moment be a prayer of the Father – transfiguring the darkness into light, that we are radiant at what we see.