Happy New Year!
I pray you have a happy and blessed New Year. I also pray that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Kwanza, for those who celebrate their African-American heritage. I always think it's funny when people say they don't celebrate Kwanza because it is a made up holiday. Well all holidays were made up at one time or another. And many of them have been appropriated and adapted over the century. Some celebrate things that are far from their original purpose. We celebrate Jesus's birth at this time, not because his birth certificate says December 25th, but because He is The Lord of Light and the pagan holiday of light and darkness was celebrated at the winter solstice. To show pagans that the true victor over darkness was Christ, and not some type of sun god, Christians began to celebrate the Incarnation at the winter solstice. It is, after all, the perfect time to celebrate the birth of The Lord of Light, the One who banished darkness forever.
The other great tradition at this time of year is to make resolutions. As we begin a new year it is the perfect time to make a fresh start. Rather than giving up before we even begin because of our past failures to keep resolutions, why don't we see this as an opportunity to get it right. I know there are a number of things in my own life that I need to change, and this is as good a time as any. So if you pray for me, I'll pray for you.
Finally, this is the beginning of our 150th Jubilee. Imagine, 150 years of praising God right here on the corner of Cook & Grand. The story of The Rock has taken many twists and turns and it is interesting to see where God has led us. Those first Redemptorists had only one promise from the bishop, that this would not be a parish. Then when the German Redemptorists finally gave in to running a parish they were soon shocked to find that all the new houses were being bought by Irish immigrants. And who would have guessed that St. Alphonsus church would one day live up to its nick name in not just the material used in her construction, but also in how she praised her God. It's going to be a great and exciting year here on the corner of Cook & Grand. I hope you're all ready for the celebration! Let's raise the roof church, and give fitting praise to The Lord our God!
And let us have a blessed & joyful New Year!!!
In the Redeemer,