Christmas Message 2019

The Promise changes everything for us.  Everything we do is in light of it.  The witness we bear, the love we share, the reason we care are all because of the Promise. Click To Tweet

Christmas Message 2019

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; Is 2:2-3, RSVCE

Four weeks ago, on the First Sunday of Advent, Holy Mother Church inaugurated the Year of Grace 2020 by reminding us, with these words of the Prophet Isaiah, that we are a people who live in the midst of a Promise.

Our precious Catholic Faith is itself the fruit of God’s fulfillment of His Promise that He would save His people.  This Promise was fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah, the long-awaited One, who came not as a conquering hero, but as a fragile babe, conceived in His Immaculate Mother’s womb and, at His birth, gently nestled in her loving arms.  This same Messiah has promised us that He will come again as judge of the living and the dead.

There is something very special about a promise.  Long before it is fulfilled, a promise already changes the lives of those to whom it is made.  Think of a little child awaiting a promised toy at Christmas.  From the moment the promise is made, her life is changed.  Her anticipation enhances every moment, and all things she does are done in light of the blessed day when the gift shall arrive, the promise thus fulfilled.

As it is with a child, so was it with Israel, so ought it to be with each of us.  Israel longed for the day when the Messiah would come and establish His house on the mountain of the Lord.  We who celebrate the Messiah’s birth long for the day when He shall restore all things unto Himself.

That Promise changes everything for us.  Everything we do is in light of it.  The witness we bear, the love we share, the reason we care are all because of the Promise.

At Christmas we are reminded once again of the beauty of the Promise and the duty the Promise imposes upon us.  At Sycamore Trust we strive to embrace the Promise and to bear witness to it and all it entails, especially at our beloved University of Notre Dame.  Our devotion to the university and our commitment to the Promise have the same source, love for the Newborn Child in His Blessed Mother’s arms in whom the promise has been fulfilled.

Each year as we celebrate His birth and thank Him for His bountiful blessings, we also thank each of you for your commitment to the Promise and your share in our mission of making the Promise known and loved.  May the Birth of Jesus and this Season of Joy refresh and renew our Hope in the Promise!

Merry Christmas from Sycamore Trust!

Rev. John Raphael. ’89
Sycamore Trust Board Member