Letter From Fr. Erik
21 December 2020
Dear CTK Parishioner,
The end of 2020 is in sight and many people are rejoicing. Even with Covid cases still high there seems to be hope that a new year and the beginnings of vaccination can make the difference for all of the challenges of this pandemic. Relief cannot come soon enough for many, and we continue our prayer for all who suffer and all who make sacrifices to serve others.
This particular moment also brings the celebration of Christmas and I am struck by the sense of fatigue that marked the birth of the Child Jesus. The long awaited Messiah seemed still far away. Many people suffered in a land occupied by foreign power and God entered the world under the rules of that occupation. It was Caesar who ordered the census that took Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, but it was God who chose that moment to be born with only a few witnesses. Hope had come, but few realized it. The God who created the universe chose to take on the vulnerable form of a baby. God came to share in the suffering of human weakness so that he could lead us to freedom.
As Matthew 4:16 puts it: “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”
Jesus was born because our world is broken. The reality of sin and sorrow, the challenge of suffering and evil, make clear our need for a Savior. Sometimes we live unaware of this need but my hope is that the reality of pandemic helps us to see. Every struggle you now face is another reason that Jesus is born for you.
Let the days of Christmas be a time to focus your hope on the promises of God. These are not promises of quick relief but of eternal blessedness. When you look at the child in the manger see the God who shares your life now and find strength in him. Look also for the man who will one day take up the cross. See the unfolding plan of God that ends with our salvation.
Our Christmas Masses are hard to predict this year. The normal large crowds can’t simply keep packing into the church, but we will have overflow seating prepared. I am asking patience from everyone who comes. Many will not end up in your ideal spot and so please picture the holy family as they searched for a place to land. In the most humble of settings Jesus was born. As we celebrate with the Mass be aware that he comes to you in the most remarkable form, as food. Receive him well and may the peace of the Christ Child fill your hearts, even in 2020.