The thoughts and writings of Fr. Ed Namiotka as taken from his weekly parish bulletin columns.
Monday, December 26, 2022
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Saturday, December 17, 2022
O come let us adore Him!
Thursday, December 15, 2022
A New Year Resolution: Live Like You Were Dying
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
There’s No Place like Home for the Holidays
Christ is born! Let us rejoice!
The trees are decorated, gifts are purchased and exchanged, various foods are prepared, businesses have their Christmas (or holiday) parties, cards are sent, students return home from college, families get together from far and wide to share good times, etc. etc.
I hope part of the routine for is also attendance at Mass. By the way, I hope you take time to examine the last part of the word Christmas. The word itself comes from the Old English for Christ’s Mass.
Usually the earliest possible Masses on Christmas Eve have been the best attended in most parishes to which I have been assigned. They were usually filled with children. Perhaps, there was a Christmas concert or pageant beforehand. There is indeed something special about that most holy of nights, especially when seen through the eyes of a child!
Some have contended that the current chosen date for Christmas was a Christianizing of the pagan winter solstice. (Catholic author Dr. Michael Barber addresses this and other questions about Christmas in his book, The True Meaning of Christmas: The Birth of Jesus and the Origins of the Season. He contends that there is no conclusive evidence to assert this proposition.) What is essential for Christians is Jesus took human flesh and was born at a particular point in time. That is what we celebrate at Christmas.
Christmas is about Christ. Although things can get rather complicated and convoluted for some, Christmas is still about Christ and not Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, the Grinch, etc. It’s not primarily about gift giving, family dinners or various other secular traditions.
Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a Savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. (Luke 2: 10-11)
God chose to become a man for us. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn. 1:14) Timelessness entered into time. The almighty and all-powerful God became a helpless, vulnerable infant. The creator of all life became subject to suffering and death. The infinite majesty of God became finite. God walked this very earth. He could be seen, felt and touched.
When you peer into the manger this Christmas, realize that before you is a glimpse of the tremendous love that God has for you and me, as evidenced through the Incarnation of His only-begotten Son.
On behalf of the sisters and entire staff that serve our parish, we wish you and your families a happy, holy Christmas and a blessed New Year! May the love of God which took human form in the person of Jesus be honored and revered in every human person that we meet.
I thank God that you have made St. Thomas More Parish your spiritual home! Merry Christmas!
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Peace on Earth
Perhaps you might receive a Christmas card with the inscription Peace on Earth. When Christ was born, there was period of relative peace known as the Pax Romana throughout the known world. The power and might of the Roman Empire and its army allowed for a temporary period of peace. However, where is the great Roman Empire now? Its eventual collapse came from within as the moral fiber of the society eventually disintegrated.
Our world is in desperate need of peace. We are all too familiar with the continuing war in Ukraine. However, a simple computer search for a list of current wars/conflicts throughout the world would probably shock you. Most of the time we simply are not informed about various matters around the globe. Yet they continue. How then can we achieve a true and lasting peace?
We call Christ the Prince of Peace. I suggest that His Gospel message needs to take deep root in our hearts. We have heard much about radicalization in the news. Jesus' message is one of love, forgiveness, mercy and peace. Christians and all people of good will should know that war, violence, hatred, revenge, terrorism, and the murder of innocents is never the ultimate answer.
While there are those who find little time for prayer or may even mock it, I think prayer is the means by which we will find a solution to our world (as well as individual) problems. A return to God and a more complete discipleship to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the only way we are going to have true and lasting peace. Jesus did not die on the cross so that everything that He said and did would come to naught. Every subsequent generation must heed His Gospel message, be converted, and allow the Gospel to be deeply rooted in the heart. It is Jesus who will transform hatred into love and offer us true peace now as he did then.
My hope and prayer is for a better world in which we no longer live in fear. No one likes to be barraged in the news with stories of an unstable world, hatred and violence. I am not so idealistic or naïve to think that we should not remain vigilant and prepared in this sometimes frightening world. Yet, if we want to see things change for the better and not just let this be a bunch of rhetoric, then we will need Divine assistance and a determined commitment on our part to be faith-filled disciples of Jesus.
I am a firm believer that God's patience and mercy are directed toward our salvation. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) God often works slowly and ever so subtly. May we have the resolve to embrace the cross of Jesus, to accept His mercy while we are still able, and to do our part to build up the Kingdom of God. Then we will experience His true and lasting peace.
As Advent comes to a close, please use the remaining time to prepare your minds and hearts for the Lord’s birth, for His return in glory and for the coming of His Kingdom.
Fr. Ed Namiotka