Dear OSJ Family,
Peace of the New Born Savior!
We all know well that our celebration of Christmas, as difficult as it may be for some, can bring people together and help us to appreciate the love in our lives that we can often take for granted.
During this holy season of giving and receiving God’s love, manifested for us in the birth of Jesus Christ, let us make every effort to take the time to slow down and to enjoy and savor the simple gifts that give real meaning to the season and to our lives: loved ones, community, experiences and, of course, our beautiful faith in Christ Jesus born in our hearts this day.
To help us to reflect on these great gifts of God, I offer you these beautiful words of a stirring Christian prayer that you may be inspired to use as a “grace before meals” at your Christmas gatherings this year:
A CHRISTMAS GRACE BEFORE MEALS
Lord of light, giver of all gifts, we thank you for the many ways you have blessed us this day. We are grateful for each of those who are gathered around this table. We ask you to bless us and our food and to bless those we love who are not with us today.
In our gratitude and love, we remember your Son’s humble birth in our hearts and pray for those who are without enough to eat. We remember Christ’s birth in a lowly stable and pray for those who have no place to live. We remember Jesus’ challenging message of caring and giving and we pray for peace in families and nations throughout the world.
We bless you and give you thanks through your Holy Spirit, who brings our hearts to life this Christmas Day and forever. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
On behalf of the Jesuit Community, the Parish Staff, our devoted committees and councils, volunteers, and liturgical ministers at Old Saint Joseph’s, we pray that the message of Christmas and the gift of Jesus Christ fill your life and your new year with enduring joy, happiness, and peace. We pray too that our gratitude for these gifts will impel us to extend our hands and our hearts in even greater service and care for those most in need within our communities!
May the blessing of the Christ Child, born in our hearts this day, be with you and yours!
Fr Phil Florio, SJ