Dear Parishioners,

“Let it be done to me according to your Word.” The history of the world turned on that line. All that God planned to do to save us, the gift that divine love wanted to give us hung on Mary’s response, on her willingness to cooperate. Her choice was a free choice, for Mary could have said “no.” It would have been easy to find many reasons to say “no.”

She could have responded to Gabriel by saying, “Wow! This is unexpected. Sort of out of the blue. How long before you need my answer? I’d really like to think about this. I know that God has a plan, but I’m rather upset about being brought into it at the very last minute. You might want to suggest that if God expects human cooperation, it might be good to give a little lead time, a few months so you could think things over. I’m sure that God would get a much better response using that approach. And really, to tell you the truth, it’s not the best time for me. I’m busy with the wedding and all coming up. We still must pick a hall and get flowers; I’ve already bought the dress and it’s not going to fit if I’m pregnant. And the more I think about it, this idea of conceiving by the Holy Spirit without a human father, it’s kind of peculiar, isn’t it? I really wish God would rethink that part of the plan. Joseph is a great guy, but I don’t think he’ll sign off on that. So why don’t we just leave it this way: first, tell God that I’m very honored to be considered. But the plan is nebulous and really not that well thought out. So why don’t you take it back and work on it a bit? Put some more detail in it, iron out some of the wrinkles, and we’ll talk again after the wedding.”

Mary could have said “no,” but she didn’t. What she said was, “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” Without much preparation, with very few details, and with a lot of things that were unsettling at best, Mary said “yes” to God. She said “yes” because she trusted that God had a plan and would not abandon her. Because she said “yes,” we have Jesus; we have eternal life; and we are preparing to celebrate Christmas.

Fr. Monteleone


On this great feast of Christmas, let us give thanks to God for the gift of His son, Jesus. Let us also give thanks for our families and friends. May your heart be filled with joy and peace. Be assured that the priests of St. Philip Rectory are praying for all. May this season of hope bring a brightness to your world and ignite a spark in your soul. We live in a world that does not always welcome the Christ Child as we do, may our hope, brightness, & witness open the hearts and minds who do not. That is my prayer and may it be yours as well.

Fr. Monteleone

The celebration of Jesus’s birth reminds us of God’s enduring love and light, the promise of eternal life, and the joy of salvation.

I am grateful for every one of you. Your support and dedication in our parish are an inspiration to me. May we continue to grow in faith, hope, and love, following the example set by Christ.

Wishing you and your families a blessed and joyful Christmas!

Fr. Nico

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