Fr. Mark's
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wish a very Merry Christmas to each of you.

Christmas has always been a time of great joy for me and thus a time of giving
thanks to God for the many blessings in my life.  When I was much younger it
was a time of excitedly waiting for presents.  Christmas is now a time of giving
thanks to God for the people in my life.   This Season allows  me to contact and
hear from family and friends who live throughout Louisiana and throughout the
United States.

This first Christmas at Christ the King allows me to thank God for this new
placement and the many new friends I have made here and the new
opportunities that I have for ministry.  Thanks to all of you.  I especially thank
those who have sent me cards and Christmas presents.  I greatly appreciate
your generosity.  I thank God for bringing you into my life.

Christmas is significant not only because we receive gifts but even more
importantly because Christmas is the Season in which we are in touch with the
salvation that began with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am always
impressed with the great generosity which is shown in people’s lives as we
approach Christmas.  People go outside of themselves and give generously to
others.  May God allow us to continue to recognize the needs of others and to
help meet them both now and throughout the New Year.

Truthfully the greatest gift that we receive at Christmas is the gift of the Savior.  
God is so loving and generous that God shared His only Son with us on the first
Christmas and that Christ continues to be a part of our lives.

The evangelist John helps us to understand the meaning of Christmas in the
first chapter of his Gospel.  John says that Jesus is the Word of God who came
into our world and dwelt among us.   John goes on to say that the Word of God
came into our world to overcome its darkness.  Today, God still desires to
break through the pain and darkness of our world and our lives.   Jesus Christ
is God’s final saving Word, which He speaks to bring all back to Him.  God
spoke through Abraham, Moses, the Prophets but God speaks His final Word
through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  May we be open to receiving
the Word of God and allow that Word to transform us.

Christmas continues to demand a response of us.  We are called to be a people
of faith who open our lives to the truth of Jesus Christ.  We are also called to be
a people who  respond to the truth of Jesus Christ through sharing the life and
light of Christ with others.

Let us continue to thank God for the many gifts that we    receive this
Christmas.  Among these gifts let us especially thank God for the gift of the
risen Christ who desires to be a part of our lives.  May we be inspired to love
others in imitation of the love that Jesus showed during his life.  
May this upcoming Christmas Season inspire us as well to draw near to Mary
and to better experience the love that she constantly shows for us.  May we
imitate the faith and love that was so evident throughout her entire life.

Again, I wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May God
continue to bless you and your loved ones through this New Year.

In Christ,
Fr. Mark