Christmas Message 2018The promise gives us hope; the promise gives us courage as we contemplate the Just Shoot sprung from Jesse’s stump. Wishing you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. Click To Tweet
The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
The LORD our justice. (Jer 33:14-16)
With these consoling words of the Prophet Jeremiah, just a few short weeks ago, Holy Mother Church began her New Year of Grace on the First Sunday of Advent. It should strike us immediately how different is the beginning of the sacred year from that of the secular. For the Household of Faith, there are no streamers, noisemakers, revelry or mirth, but rather a somber invitation to prayerfully and longingly contemplate the Coming of the Lord.
And so we have done these last four weeks. We have meditated on the promise made by the Lord to Israel of old and spoken through the Prophet. The promise gives us hope; the promise gives us courage as we contemplate the Just Shoot sprung from Jesse’s stump.
This promise was made to Israel at a time when the safety of Judah and the security of Jerusalem were not to be found. It is a reminder to us how often in salvation history, God has allowed His people to suffer want and even defeat, all the while preparing a restoration beyond their imagining.
As we now enter into the celebration of the Messiah’s birth, we remember the promise. We remember the promise fulfilled when He was born. We remember the promise He made that He would remain with us even unto the end of time. We remember the promise He made to His Church that the “gates of hell will not prevail”!
The Birth of the Savior, the lowly manger, the Virgin Mother, the Chaste Foster-Father are stark reminders to us that even in our time—when cowardice has so often replaced courage, when truth has so frequently been sacrificed to folly, and when so many of those called to lead would rather follow—that God not only makes, but keeps His promises!
Celebrating the Mystery of the Nativity, we at Sycamore Trust wish to take this time to offer each of you a grace-filled Christmas Day and Season! We also offer you our profound gratitude for your generosity, your encouragement and, most of all, your prayers. You help us to keep our promise to our beloved Notre Dame as we watch, wait, work and pray for the day when the Lord Our Justice will ensure that what is right and just shall be done in the Land.
A very Merry and Blessed Christmas from Sycamore Trust!
Rev. John Raphael. ’89
Sycamore Trust Board Member
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