"Building up the Kingdom of God"

       National Catholic Apostolic Church

   in the United States 

(Non-Roman)

MESSAGE FROM THE PRIMATE

Christmas 2019


Dear family in Christ, 


The Word begotten from all eternity by the Father has become the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb. The human and divine natures in Our Lord have joined now in the unity of a single person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The eternal Son of the Father was begotten from all eternity. The same Christ is now part of humanity. The Incarnation is accomplished. Both Son of God and Son of Man, the Child lies in the manger!

He was born in the dead of night, Christ, who is God of God, light of light, and who will disperse the dark night of sin. Just stop and meditate for a minute at the stupendousness, if there is such a word, of what transpired on that historical Christmas night. It is the same Christ abiding in the tabernacle and on the altar with us, who is also the same resurrected Christ, living amongst us and with us.

What is it that we really pray for? Nothing less than union with God, and that is sanctity. Sanctity is not dreary; sanctity is not grey. Sanctity is young. Sanctity has a magic wand, making adventures of every little task that we do, making a song that is always new and full of joy.

Sanctity is but another name for Love! But do we believe it is really for me and not for someone else; that it is composed of ordinary things that human beings do every day—routine, ordinary things that we sometimes call “drudgery”? It’s all filled with light, and it’s all filled with joy when you know why you are doing it—because you love someone back who has loved you so tremendously.

Sanctity comes to dwell in a soul that has understood one simple thing: that God loved us first. He is the only one who can fill all our needs. He is our tremendous Lover. To understand this is to be filled with wonder at the thought, and to desire with a passionate desire to respond, and to know that the only response is to love God back, passionately, utterly, enthusiastically, totally—without holding anything back. That is why when we pray at the Midnight Mass, we must mean what we say, for then the simple prayer passing through us will be worthy to be placed as a tiny gift of our love on the straw of his crib.

“Be perfect as my Father is perfect” (Mt 5.48) is for everybody, because Christ is going to accomplish it in us, if we let him. Sanctity is not a conglomeration of virtues. It’s not a nice “bookkeeping”. It’s not how many times I fasted on bread and water. It’s how much I loved, for by charity we shall be judged, and by charity alone.

In the letter of Paul to Titus we are reminded that Christmas is the manifestation of our salvation. This historic event, the results of which are seen only by faith, has changed our relationship with God. Paul reminds us too, that there will be yet another Coming, and that we should be ready for it.

Again the word “love” stands fresh and straight before us. It is love and love alone, our love of God who loved us first, that is going to help us live soberly, justly, godly, as he puts it. Love and love alone that will enable us to look for the blessed hope and the coming of the glory of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Parousia.

The Gospel speaks in accents that are humble, yet glorious. It describes the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. A lifetime is barely enough to learn the lessons of Bethlehem. Where could one find a better school of love or come closer to Gospel poverty? All of us must constantly make pilgrimages to Bethlehem, or we too shall grow tired of the long road of life and become weary of its battles. But in Bethlehem we shall find Mary and Joseph, and they will tell us all about weariness and what they did with it, and how it vanished in the cave.

Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be conformed to him. That, dearly beloved, is our goal, for we can explain sanctity yet another way—always the way of love, of course—by saying that our life should be in conformity with that of Christ, a faithful and truthful imitation of his life, beginning with Bethlehem and ending at the tomb, where we shall then know resurrection.

Christ is the dawn of our salvation. Let this Christmas be the dawn of our total surrender, of our total dedication unto the end, so that we may walk with him into the fullness of our Christian life, and with him reach its end. All will be well with us, because the end is the Father. We shall be with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit for eternity.

We who have participated in the mystery of his Nativity—what else can we become but lovers? The greatest tragedy that can befall us is not to become saints. And a saint, never forget, is only and always a lover. In our tragic age and time, a Christian cannot be mediocre. A timid man will never do any good, so let us be done with mediocrity and timidity. We belong to a great king. We belong to a little Child who is called the Wonderful God, the Prince of Peace. Away then with fears, with compromise, with rationalizations, with procrastination. Let us love God back. Let us set our feet on the road of love now, with singing hearts and loving souls, for we have beheld perfect Love in a manger, and we must remember that perfect love casts out all fears.

Let our voices ring with the joy that only Christians can have on a night like this! Let the notes of our song become the myrrh, the frankincense and gold that we lavishly spill at his feet, making the floor of the stable a thing of beauty, colour and light, the colour of love.

And having seen his glory, let us go forth into the world and proclaim the glad tidings to the whole world, preaching the Gospel with our lives and, with his help, restoring to him his Kingdom on this earth.


May you and your family have a blessed and holy Christmas! 


+Michel Joseph, O.S.B.

Primate


                              TRAVELING SCHEDULE OF THE PRIMATE
                                                 2020
                                                                                                   
 Enero 22-29 Confirmaciones Parroquia El Santísimo Sacramento en Long Beach, California
Marzo 8-30  Argentina Visita Pastoral, confirmaciones y Ordenaciones. 
Abril 1-12
Long Beach, CA Semana Santa y Domingo de Pascua - Parroquia El Santisimo Sacramento 
April 14-16
Meeting of the USA clergy and those of our terrirories, in Long Beach California hosted by our Parish of El Santísimo Sacramento. 
June 25-30  Ordination to the priesthood in San Antonio, Texas
October 
Family Visit to Ottawa, Canada

Fin de l'annee possibilite. 

 Yaoundé - Cameroun- Afrique - Ordinations Diaconales et Sacerdotales - Confirmations -  Visites Pastorales dans les Paroisses - Visite Canonique chez les Disciples d’Emmaüs et la Congrégation de Saint Michel Archange. Rencontre avec le clergé du Congo (Brazzaville).