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CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY

Pastor's Corner

 

Welcome to the Church of the Nativity family. Since its dedication on October 21, 1989,  our community has faithfully committed to our mission: We are a praying, learning and caring community fulfilling the mission God gives us in baptism by our worship in faith, by our witness in hope, and by our service in love. We invite you to journey with our community in Christ, thus will be said, “Day by Day the Lord added to their number” (Acts 2:47). Our Nativity School is led by faith-filled, loving professional staff who provide not only excellence in academics for our children so that they may excel in life, but help cultivate and form our children to come to know, love and serve God through the gifts God has blessed each of them. We are a Dynamic Parish and look forward to walking with you and your family to pray, worship, and give thanks to God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us. In joy and in sorrow, we will live out together the witness of faith, hope and charity. At the Church of the Nativity, there will always be room “in the inn” (Luke 2,7).

Greetings in the Lord!
For two past two Sundays we have reflected on the meaning of discipleship.  Briefly, discipleship means following Jesus and doing what he commands his followers to do.  This is a long and arduous process that demands many and various acts, beginning with knowing fully who Jesus is, listening to his words, appreciating his deeds and doing his will.  The act of knowing Jesus entails a constant openness of self to the continuous revelation of Jesus himself that commences in reading Scriptures, constant study of the teachings of Jesus as transmitted in the Catholic Church and being guided faithfully by the persons whom Jesus gave the authority to hand over his teachings and interpreting the purpose of his will in the world today.  Besides knowing Jesus, a follower of Jesus is expected to embody the teachings of Jesus himself.  And this is the more difficult part of the process because it demands 
radical conversion.  
The messages of the past Sundays become more relevant in understanding radical conversion.  Jesus mentioned that “anyone who would come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”  Conversion begins with the realization that one is truly sinful and the battle begins here because it is so difficult to accept one’s sinfulness.  Acceptance of one’s sinfulness is the second stage in which one who desires to change oneself, leaves behind everything of one’s past life of sinfulness and prays for the grace of change.   This was the message of the gospel reading last Sunday, when Jesus mentioned that “no one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”  The main reason for this is to emphasize the need to focus oneself on Jesus, his call and the mission that he would be sending his disciples to do.
The fact is that following Jesus is not complete in itself.  We are called to follow Jesus, not only to know and do his will but also to be prepared to be sent on a mission.  The sending to the mission is what the gospel today speaks about.  After appointing the seventy two, he sent them in pairs to a mission, “to every town and place he intended to visit.”  The purpose of the mission for which the seventy two were sent was to proclaim that the “kingdom of God is at hand.”  Nevertheless, Jesus cautioned the seventy two that they were being sent like lambs among wolves.”  For this reason they really had to be dependent on God so that they would “carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals,…”  Their dependence on God would also be extended to their expectation of being accepted  by the people whom they would greet with peace.  Jesus mentioned clearly that they should “stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to [them] because they laborer deserves his payment.”
I believe that the messages of the past two Sundays are so connected with the message of today’s gospel.  Conversion from sin and focusing on the person of Jesus would make a disciple truly dependent on Jesus so that with pure intentions he can bring the message of salvation to the mission with nobility of intention and clarity of vision.  Each one of us who would like to be disciples of Jesus would enter into a mission in the respective sphere of our lives.  The mission today entails disciples who are convinced of their faith; living their faith with joy so that they would be able to bring the message of salvation in the field that is full of wolves, persons who no longer believe in God, follow traditional values and even violently reject God’s message and his ministers.  
Let us pray that we would be ready for this mission now and forever.