“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways. In these last days,
He has spoken to us through the Son.” — Hebrews 1:1-2
Dear parish family and friends,
Christ came on earth to reveal an extraordinary message, a message of love, hope, joy and peace. He taught us to love one another, to be reconciled to one another and in so doing, experience God’s reconciling love for each one of us. During this Advent Season, it has been my prayer that all in our parish family would find opportunities to reflect on our current relationship with the Lord Jesus and respond to His constant call to conversion. No matter what it is that our hearts and souls desire, whether we realize it or not, our ultimate longing is for God Himself. For this reason, we are filled with joy and consolation at Christmas knowing that all that we hope for has been fulfilled in the mystery of Christ’s incarnation.
“As the darkness grows, the light grows stronger”. While the world is still living in turmoil, with so much suffering from the ongoing pandemic, the bright light of Jesus Christ has been clearly shining through the chaos. These past few months, as more and more people felt more comfortable to return to Church and participate in parish activities, I have witnessed firsthand what kind of people we are and what kind of community we have built in this parish. The daily examples of generosity, patience, love and care that edified me have proven beyond a doubt that our parishioners do possess the light of Christ and are eager to bring it to the world. I feel joy that I am here to see and be part of it!
Once I’ve seen a beautiful Christmas card with this message on the outside: “This Christmas, I wish you Jesus.” On the inside it reads: “Isn’t nice to have everything?” In the midst of these trying times, God the Father once again manifests His love to us in the wonderful gift of His Son, Jesus. As the angels sang on that first Christmas Eve, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth,” we believe that true peace on earth flows from our own recognition and praise of God in our lives. I never cease to be amazed by the ways in which many of you have witnessed to this incredible conviction.
To the priests, deacons, parish staff, group leaders, volunteers and faithful members who so faithfully take part in the life and prayer of the parish throughout the year, and all those who have contributed their time, talent and material resources which enable the mission of Christ to continue among our most needy brothers and sisters, I want to extend a sincere gratitude and appreciation for your goodness. To the parishioners from various ethnic groups of our parish who collaborated with our priests and staff in the work of decorating the churches and our church spaces for Christmas, I want to say a big THANK YOU. It is your generosity that makes the spirit of the season come alive in this parish.
Christmas, as many of you can attest to, has a way of bringing to Church individuals and families who, for various reasons, have not been to Mass or the Sacraments for months or years. What a wonderful and grace-filled opportunity to begin anew the right relationship with the Lord and His Church community. I extend an open and grateful heart of welcome to all our guests and friends who are returning to be with us during this holy season. Know that you will always have a place now and throughout the year at this Mother Church of Queens County.
Dear brothers and sisters, let the joy of Christmas penetrate our hearts and souls, so we may become the face of God to all whom we encounter these days. With gratitude for all the blessings that this sacred time brings to our parish family, I hold you each in my heart and in my prayer this Christmas season. May the Infant Child be born once again within you, and may Mary and St. Joseph watch over you and your loved ones always.
A Blessed and Merry Christmas to All!
Msgr. Cuong M. Pham