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Bishop Paul Sirba: Say ‘yes’ in 2015

Jan 15, 2015

In this new year, take advantage of parish and diocesan opportunities to encounter Jesus anew

“Loving trust and total surrender made Our Lady say ‘yes’ to the message of the angel. And cheerfulness made her run in haste to serve her cousin Elizabeth. That is so much our life: saying ‘yes’ to Jesus and running in haste to serve him in the poorest of the poor. Let us keep very close to Our Lady and she will make that same spirit grow in each one of us.”

— From Mother Teresa’s final letter, written on the day of her death.

The Church begins the New Year celebrating the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord and the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, or rather, a holy day of opportunity! There is no better way to begin our year than to thank Almighty God for His goodness to us, and there is no better way to say “thank you” than celebrating the Eucharist.

Bishop Paul Sirba
Fiat Voluntas Tua

I extend to all the readers of The Northern Cross my prayers for a blessed New Year flowing from the love of Our Lord, for you and for your families!

As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said in her last written words on earth, and now sings forever in her life of beatitude in heaven, surrender to the love of Jesus Christ in your life. Follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother.

The New Evangelization begins with our encounter with Our Lord. It has to be personal. We cannot give what we do not have. Our Lady’s mission was to accept Jesus into her life. Once she did, then she proceeded in haste to give Him to others. Mary bought Him to St. John the Baptist, to Elizabeth, to shepherds and Magi and ultimately to all of us. We are called to do what Mary did.

If our love of Jesus has grown cold or become impersonal or if we don’t have the courage to express our gratitude for what He had done for us, then we must ask God, beg God, the Holy Spirit, for mercy. We beseech Him to rekindle our love and to fan it into a new flame.

We pray for the gift of true repentance from our sins. Then Jesus will do what He does best. He will save us. He does not disappoint, give up on us or leave us without help. In the joy of our new encounter we share the good news of Jesus.

Consequences apparent

Sadly, our world remains in darkness. It becomes increasingly so. As people make the choice to forget God, we see the fruits of the choice: selfishness, broken relationships, violence, persecutions, loneliness and unhappiness. Because Jesus is the solution to all our problems, we need to invite others to encounter Him. He is the Savior of the world. He has overcome the world.

Mary never felt ashamed of Jesus. She proclaimed Him. At Calvary she stood by Him because her love was so deep. She is the Lord’s greatest disciple.

In the coming year of God’s grace, go deeper with Jesus.

Your parishes and our diocesan programs will provide many opportunities for you and your families to grow in your encounter with Jesus.

From Sunday Mass to service of the poor, from Symbolon to Men’s and Women’s Conferences, newly married retreats, the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, from parish Bible studies to RCIA, from Tobit to Newman Center Masses, from Eucharistic adoration to our Diocesan 125th Celebration on Sept. 12.

Take advantage of the opportunities!