Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Christ is God, and God can do whatever he pleases. His authority and power are unlimited. He could have chosen to form a body for the Incarnation out of the dust of the earth, as he had for Adam. Instead, he chose to take on human life in all its dimensions, entering into a family and giving real people – especially Joseph and Mary – crucial roles in the plan of salvation. God didn’t whisk Jesus, Mary, and Joseph away into safety when Herod was looking for them – he entrusted St. Joseph with that task. God didn’t give Mary special powers to know when Joseph was right or wrong – he simply gave her the vocation to be Joseph’s faithful wife and Jesus’ loving mother. He let her take it from there. God guided them and helped them, but he didn’t do everything for them. He chose to give them real responsibility; he made them real partners in his work of saving the world. Their decisions, choices, courage, and creativity mattered.
This is still his policy. God has chosen to administer Christ’s salvation through the action of the Church – not just the priests, bishops, and religious, but each one of us, integral members of the one Body of the Church. He guarantees the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but the Lord has given the keys of his Kingdom into Peter’s hands. Thus, in union with the Church, every Catholic is called to carry out a particular, unrepeatable role in the plan of salvation, just like Joseph and Mary. As St. Augustine put it, “God created us without us, but he did not will to save us without us.”
Many thanks to the decorators, servers, and musicians who have wonderfully led us once again into this joyful season of Christmas with their service to St. John’s parish. May God bless all parishioners and families as we begin the New Year 2020. Masses for the Holy Day of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, will be held on Tuesday December 31 at 4 pm, and Wednesday January 1 at 10 am.