Dear brothers and sisters,
The Advent and Christmas series Expect Miracles has been very powerful for so many people. I thank those of you who have shared with me some incredible miracles that have happened in your lives. Through these last few weeks, we have looked at some of the elements needed for a miracle. A few weeks ago, we looked at the fact that to experience a miracle, we often find ourselves first in a difficult situation that requires a miracle. “Storms” or problems in our lives are breeding grounds for miracles. Two weeks ago, we discovered that to experience a miracle we need to prepare for a miracle. We prepare by repentance: preparing the way in our thoughts and behavior for God to act. Last week, we looked at prayer as vital to a miracle. People who experience miracles ask for miracles; they don’t worry and become anxious about their situations, but make their needs known to God. They ask specifically and with a heart of thanksgiving for God to intervene in their lives.
The final ingredient to having a miracle is what Elizabeth says in today’s Gospel to Mary, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45). If you want a miracle, if you expect a miracle in your life, you have to believe. Believing is trust that the promises of God are true. It is an inner confidence that what is not seen will happen, because God promises it. In these last busy days before the celebration of our Savior’s birth, I invite you to spend a few minutes of prayer to express faith and trust in God. Tell him like Mary, “Let your will be done.” This is the most important aspect to expecting a miracle.
Many thanks to Erik, Gil, Nancy, and all of St. John’s musicians for their wonderful Advent Lessons and Carols. Last Sunday the show went on even with the snowy and icy conditions which made travel impossible for many of you who would have otherwise attended, and because of that, this Sunday (Dec. 23) our musicians will offer a shortened performance for those who might want to attend. It will be held immediately after the 11 am Mass, around 12:15 or so. We have some amazingly talented musicians in our parish, and I am very grateful for their preparation and efforts to serve our community and lead us in worship week after week. Many thanks as well to Trudy and to our team of decorators, who are preparing our church for the Christmas season once again. On behalf of our parish staff, I wish you and your families a blessed, joyful Christmas!