From the National Minister

Monday, Dec 25, 2017  (with attachments)
Subject: Christmas Greetings!

 

 

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing..."  (Isaiah 9:1-2)
 
 
Beloved National Family,
Peace and joy in Christ!  I wish you a holy, blessed, beautiful, wondrous, joyful, sweet, bright and merry Christmas!
 
Along with my own greeting I include a Christmas greeting from our General Minister Tibor Kauser, and a greeting from Lithuania, one among many National Fraternities of sisters and brothers united with us in our worldwide OFS family.  These greetings are attached.
 
May we pray together with St. Francis his Psalm 15 from the Office of the Passion - the psalm Francis prayed every day, Morning and Evening, during the Christmas Season.  (See below and attached)
 
Last, but certainly not least, I include Pope Francis's homily from Midnight Mass (attached in its entirety) and quoted below:  
 
The faith we proclaim tonight makes us see God present in all those situations where we think he is absent. He is present in the unwelcomed visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our doors.  
 
This same faith impels us to make space for a new social imagination, and not to be afraid of experiencing new forms of relationship, in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth.
 
 
Let us seek out and welcome Jesus to our world.
 
Love and peace,
Jan
 
 

Little Office of the Passion,

Psalm 15

St. Francis of Assisi

 

Sing for joy to God our help;

with exultant voice

raise to the Lord God living and true a shout of joy.

 

Because the Lord is the Most High,

the awesome, great King over all the earth.

 

For the most holy Father of heaven,

our King before all ages,

sent from on high the beloved Son

who was born of the Blessed Virgin, Holy Mary.

 

He called out to God, “You are my Father,”

and God placed him as the firstborn,

the highest above all earthly kings.

 

*

On that day the Lord sent mercy

and song in the night.

 

This is the day the Lord has made;

let us rejoice in it and be glad.

 

For to us is given the beloved child most holy,

born for us along the way and placed in a manger

because there was no room for him at the inn.

 

Glory to the God in the highest

and on earth peace to those of good will.

 

*

Let heavens rejoice and earth exult,

let the sea and all that is in it roar,

let fields and everything in them sing for joy

 

Sing to the Lord a new song;

sing to the Lord, all the earth!

 

For the Lord is great and highly to be praised;

more awesome than all gods.

 

Bring to the Lord, families of nations,

bring to the Lord glory and honor,

bring to the Lord the glory due his name.

 

Cast off the weight of sin

and take up the Lord’s holy cross;

follow the Lord’s most holy commands

to the very end.

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

 
Jan Parker OFS
Minister, Secular Franciscan Order USA
 
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