Pastor’s Letter, December 24, Fr. Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The first three “First Things” were God, Light and Life. The last is Love.

God is the source of all that is. He is the source of Light. He is the source of Life. He is the source of Love.

St John the Evangelist says that not just that God loves or God is loving, but  “God IS Love.” This is profound stuff. What he is saying is that God’s very nature and being is pure, unconditional love.

This Divine Love is not the sentimental stuff of Valentine’s cards or mushy movies. This is not romantic or erotic love. Instead it is the fiery source of life and power in all things. The source of life and power in God is also the source of Love.

God’s Divine Love is constantly being outpoured on the world. It is relentless like a river. It is his nature to be pouring out his love and mercy at all times and at all place to all people and to all creation.

Furthermore, the theologians tell us that the Divine Love is the force that binds all things together. It is the force in creation that keeps everything going. It is the energy which burns like a fiery furnace at the heart of all things.

This love comes to us at Christmas in human form. Jesus Christ is the Lord of Light, the Lord of Life and the Lord of Love. The babe of Bethlehem is the radiance of God, the Life of God and the Love of God present for us in a little child.

St. Paul teaches that this is the ultimate expression of God’s love for humanity–that God’s love took human form and became a man and finally suffered and died for us. St John says, “No man has greater love than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.”

As we celebrate Christmas let us remember what we really celebrate–not just the pleasantries of Christmas cards, presents, family times together and the abundance of food and drink and good times.

The heart of our celebration is this astounding truth, that the God who created the world out of the abundance of his light and life and love came to be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary–that his life and light came into our dark and dying world to bring each one of us out of darkness into his own marvelous light.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker