Dear Parishioners and Visitors,
“And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.” —Colossians 3:15
As we come to the end of the year and the beginning of a new one, the Church invites us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph today, and the celebration of the 52nd World Day of Peace on January 1, 2019.
His holiness Pope Francis begins his message for the celebration of the world day of peace by saying: “Peace be to this house!” He reminds us that in sending his disciples forth on mission, Jesus told them: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you” (Lk 10:5-6).
Bringing peace is central to the mission of Christ’s disciples. That peace is offered to all those men and women who long for peace amid the tragedies and violence that mark human history. The “house” of which Jesus speaks is every family, community, country, and continent, in all their diversity and history. It is first and foremost each individual person, without distinction or discrimination. But it is also our “common home”: the world in which God has placed us and which we are called to care for and cultivate.
Also, in the letter to the Colossians, Paul reminds the community of faith of some basic values to keep the relationships among them and their families in peace: “Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” (Col 3:12-14)
As we celebrate the Holy Family today, let us recognize in them that Jesus came to them and through them to all the families in the world to bring his peace. As we come to the end of this year and the beginning of a new one, the Word and the Church are inviting to end and to begin in peace. Maybe can do that by working on those areas of our lives we know are not at peace and allowing Christ to be the source of our peace. Only Christ can offer real peace. Only his presence gives us the assurance and all we need to let go of the year that is ending and to welcome the new one. On behalf of the Dominican Friars and the Parish Staff, have a peaceful new year!
—fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P.