Christmas Blessing 2014
Peace and good in Christ!
You are no doubt being overwhelmed with cards, appeals, and the typical hustle and bustle of Christmas, so I will keep this short.
After the rush, take some time for yourself and your family to simply focus on the essence of Christmas this year. It is simple:
Keep "Christ," and the "Mass" in "Christmas!"
"Christ" means "anointed," like the oil that flowed down Aaron's beard, or oil that is rubbed deeply and repeatedly. The oil is the Spirit of God. Let the Spirit of God anoint you today, and every day so that this special Day will be what God intends it to be for you. If we are anointed by the Spirit of Christ we become more Christian, or "like Christ" in our daily life. What was Jesus like? Meditate on the Sermon on the Mount, or St. Paul's "love chapter," 1 Cor. 13, or the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, mildness, generosity, goodness, chaste self control, and faith.
Many say to keep "Christ" in Christmas, but few mention the "Mass." Yet that is part of the original meaning if the word. It is a Christ Mass, Christmas!
Millions of us will go to Mass on Christmas. Some only go once or a few times a year. Most reading this celebrate regularly. Still many simply fumble and mumble through the songs and responses, space out (or look repeatedly to your watches) during the homily, and file up for Communion like robots! As Pope Francis says, sometimes we Catholics are more like "mummies in a museum," than folks with a lively Christian faith!
This year lets really enter into the "Christ Mass" fully! Sing the beautiful Christmas hymns and songs! Cantors and choirs: Pray as you sing. People want skill, but not a mere performance!
Pray from your heart as you say the responses! They are ancient and rich. Let them reach into your heart and soul, and wake them up! The angels and saints are celebrating with you at Mass. See them rejoicing all around you. Heaven and earth are meeting in this scared space and time in a way beyond all space and time! Eternity is breaking through in this Mass right now! Allow yourself to weep for repentance, joy, and awe this Christ Mass!
And listen to the homilist! Jesus is speaking to each of us personally, regardless of the homilist's personal preaching skills. Preachers, share your living faith, don't just dispense empty stories or dry theology. You don't have to be Fulton Sheen to preach well. Just share your faith. Faith stirs up faith!
Most importantly, see Jesus coming personally for you in every Eucharist. The music might be terrible, and the preaching might be boring, but Jesus always shows up! If we see Him there then every Mass becomes a Miracle of miracles. Sacramentally His birth in a manger is really there! His life, teaching and miracles are really there! His death on a cross and resurrection is really there! He comes personally for each of us in every Mass, and especially in the Christ Mass! As you go forward to receive Him, give your life to Jesus personally as a response to He Who gives His life for us personally out of love. It is the greatest ongoing public altar call that can be given, and it happens daily at every Mass. It us especially happens at the Christ Mass!
So let's keep Christ and the Mass in Christmas this year! Let's give our life completely to Him, for He gives His life personally for each one of us in this Christ Mass. He comes for you and me personally this Christmas!
I extend a heartfelt blessing at Christmas this year!
John Michael Talbot
Founder, Minister General, and Spiritual Father
Christmas Blessing 2013
In the midst of an unstable world, we embrace the Holy Family and Christ Child Who bring divine stability to all humanity and creation. The Christ Child Jesus through the Stable brings eternal wealth in midst of earthly poverty, kingship in servanthood, strength in vulnerability, glory in humility, proclamation in holy silence, and eternal life in and through death. He shows us the divine way, truth, and life that truly fulfills every human being who receives Him. Receive Jesus this Christmas. And keep both Christ and the Mass in Christmas this year!!! :)
We also take this time to thank you for your support this past year. We pray you have been blessed by our LIVE and TELEVISION ministry and through our many spiritual resources (DVDs, CDs and books). We pray a Most Holy Christmas for 2013, and Happy New Year for 2014!