Greetings to you from the "land of the pure" which is the meaning of the word Pakistan. I hope this finds you and your loved ones well and in good health. It is hard to believe that another year is almost over. I would like to share with you some of this year's happenings for me.
A Root shall come forth from the stock of Jesse
And a Flower shall rise out of his root!
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him —
the spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the spirit of counsel and of fortitude,
the spirit of knowledge and of godliness.
The people that walked in darkness
shall see a great light,
For a Child is born to us
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
O guide of the flock of Joseph!
Rouse Your power, and come to save us.
O Lord of hosts, how long will You burn with anger
while Your people pray?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in ample measure.
You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.
O Jesus, the world waits for You.
Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours.
Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord
who enlists me in God's own work for justice.
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world,
peace in my home, peace in myself.
Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father's joy.
O God, Who endowed holy John,
Your confessor and doctor,
with a wonderful love of self-denial
and a surpassing love of the cross;
grant that by following ever in his footsteps,
we may obtain everlasting glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
world without end.
Saint Lucy, whose beautiful name
signifies light, By the light of Faith
which God bestowed upon you,
increase and preserve His light in my soul,
so that I may avoid evil,
be zealous in the performance of good works,
and abhor nothing so much as the blindness
and the darkness of evil and sin.
Christmas is a celebration of hope and joy as we remember the birth of Jesus, the ultimate gift God has given us out of His infinite love for us. It is with gratitude that I look back on how God continues to show His love for us. One inspiring experience I've had in mission is witnessing how God has manifested His love through one girl's life.
We called her Min
God of power and mercy,
you blessed the Americas at Tepeyac
with the presence of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.
May her prayers help all men and women
to accept each other as brothers and sisters.
Through your justice present in our hearts
may Your peace reign in the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me the joy and love and peace
it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord.
Raise in me, too,
sober reverence for the God who acted there,
hearty gratitude for the life begun there,
and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
whose advent I hail.
You don't have to be a Christian to believe in the values of Christmas. They are universal. They uphold the human dignity and right of every human being irrespective of religion, race or status. Believer or not, Jesus of Nazareth whose birth we celebrate, was a wise man of great principles, and He brought a message of hope, peace, love, justice and human dignity into the world.