Happy New Year

May God Bless you always with
enough happiness to keep you sweet;
enough trials to keep you strong;
enough success to keep you eager;
enough faith to give you courage;
and enough determination to make each day a good one.
Wishing you love, joy and peace as another year begins.

Father Joyson,  Father Gijo,
  Deacon Miguel

Recently I read a brief description of some of the favourite symbols of Christmas. The crib was described as an image of heaven. It radiates peace, love, fulfillment, the lack of tears. The baby is always “sleeping in heavenly peace” in its crib. The manger, a trough where cattle and sheep come to eat; now holding Jesus who comes as food for the life of the world. The tree is seen as with its angel and guiding star on top, joining heaven and earth, a ladder for the incarnation, a way God climbed down to earth. The Christmas lights? These represent the light and warmth of God. These lights, in our northern part of the world, symbolize God bringing heart and light during the darkest and coldest time of the year.
Isn’t Christmas wonderful!
That innocent Child, with outstretched arms, is God who loves us so deeply that He becomes one of us!  Christmas is God making us holy as He becomes one of us and dwells within and among us.
And He reminds us to love each other in the same warm, wonderful and reassuring way.

At this time of remembering and celebrating we wish each and every one of you the peace and joy of Christmas.

Father Joyson, Father Gijo, Deacon Miguel 

Perhaps you’ve been wondering…….
As early as the fifth century the season of Advent originated as a fast of forty days in preparation for Christmas, commencing on the day after the feast of St. Martin (11 November),. In the ninth century, the duration of Advent was reduced to four weeks, and Advent preserved most of the characteristics of a penitential season  which made it a kind of counterpart to Lent.
Today is known as Gaudete Sunday. The term Gaudete refers to the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, "Rejoice". Rose vestments are worn to emphasize our joy that Christmas is near, and we also light the rose candle on our Advent wreath. Gaudete Sunday provides a similar break about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord's coming.

"Rejoice: the Lord is near." As Christmas draws near, the Church emphasizes the joy which should be in our hearts over all that the birth of our Savior means for us. The great joy of Christians is to see the day drawing near  when the Lord will come again in His glory to lead them into His kingdom. The often-repeated Veni ("Come") of Advent is an echo not only of the prophets but also of the conclusion of the Apocalypse of St. John: "Come, Lord Jesus," the last words of the New Testament.