FROM THE PASTOR…..MY DEAR PARISH FAMILY, this weekend we end the CHRISTMAS SEASON with the BAPTISM OF THE LORD. The Lord was baptized by St. John the Baptist in the waters of the river Jordan. With his baptism, Jesus now begins his public ministry is establishing God’s Kingdom upon this earth. The work now begins for Him. As we celebrate Jesus’ baptism, it is a good time to recall our baptism and to evaluate our lives in light of the baptism of Jesus. Have we contributed to the building up of God’s kingdom upon this earth? Have our lives reflected the Gospel values placed before us by Jesus? Are we children of the Father through our compassion, forgiveness, understanding and kindness to others? In short, do we live for God and others and not ourselves? I think this weekend’s liturgy places before us these and many other questions. As we begin a New Year together, may our parish be known as a parish of compassion, forgiveness, understanding and kindness – a parish that lives for God and others.
A NEW YEAR THOUGHT FROM POPE FRANCIS IN THIS YEAR OF MERCY – “God is joyful. This is interesting: God is joyful! And what is the joy of God? The joy of God is forgiving; the joy of God is forgiving! The joy of a shepherd who finds his little lamb; the joy of a woman who finds her coin; it is the joy of a father welcoming home the son who was lost, who was as though dead and has come back to life, who has come home. Here is the entire Gospel! Here! The whole Gospel, all of Christianity, is here! ….mercy is the true force that can save man and the world from the cancer that is sin, moral evil, and spiritual evil. Only love fills the void, the negative chasms that evil opens in hearts and in history. Only love can do this, and this is God’s joy!” Again, what consoling words from our Holy Father Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy.
I want to THANK the Rob Shearer family for being the ones who purchased the book Rediscover Jesus, for the parish as a gift for Christmas. The book is a very good spiritual aide to help one come closer to a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus. May God bless the Shearer family for their kindness and generosity to Our Lady of Victory Parishioners.
And I also want to thank the following people who made our GIVING TREE a reality. Thanks are extended to Bob and Mary Hershey, Kevin and Pam Scott, and Mary Grunthaner for taking the leadership role in this project. Also thanks is extended to parishioners who made the 600 angel ornaments as well to the CDA for baking and putting together the cookie treats for parishioners to share. And again, thanks to all parishioners who made this Christmas season a little brighter for some residents of State College.
Finally, I will be AWAY this week for a little breather after the holidays. I leave the church in the good hands of Fr. Val, Fr. Mike and Deacon Dave. See you in a week.
HUMOR FOR THE WEEK - The parents began to assemble the special Christmas gift they had for their children. They had ordered a kit for a tree house and received the plans for it. However, the materials they received were for a sailboat. They wrote the company to complain. The company's reply: "While we regret the inconvenience this mistake must have caused you, it is nothing compared to that of the man who is out on a lake somewhere trying to sail your tree house."