"The Virgin shall be with Child, and bear a son, and shall name Him

December, 2010
"The Virgin shall be with Child, and bear a son,
and shall name Him Emmanuel."
Isaiah 7:14
Dear friends,
The time of wonder and mystery approaches once again.
The cards start to arrive. The colored lights begin to appear.
A certain rush of preparation begins. Christmas is coming.
The Season of Advent helps us spiritually to prepare our
hearts and minds for the celebration of Christ’s birth while
at the same time reminding us of the promised second
coming. “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come
again.” So the Gospel message of Advent tells us to “stay
awake” for the coming will be at an unexpected hour. We
should repent for “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” With
keen awareness we must perceive the signs of the Kingdom
around us. Our hearts can be confident in Emman’u-el
(God with us).
The message that God
is with us is the principle
cause for our Christmas
joy. In countless Nativity
scenes of every sort around
the world, believers contemplate the figure that
represents the fullness of God’s love in human life. Over
two thousand years ago a tiny infant wrapped in swaddling
clothes – Almighty God wrapped in human flesh – rested
in the starkness of the manger, accepting the poverty of the
human condition. God is truly with us.
"The Coming of The Magi" presented to Fr. Kevin by the artist,
Fr. Kevin's godson, José Pastor (Hugo) Churra Limache, on the
occasion of Fr. Kevin's departure from Moquegua in 2008.
The elderly, often among the forgotten of Society, are not forgotten
in the Parish of the Resurrected One in Peru where groups meet
weekly to socialize and take part in activities such as knitting.
With great joy we celebrate His coming into our lives. The
readings from St. Luke’s Gospel at midnight and Christmas
morning paint the portrait of Christ’s birth. Since there was
no room for the Holy Couple at the place where travelers
lodged, the Son of God is born among animals. The hopefilled words of the ancient prophets are fulfilled and angelic
voices proclaim the Good News.
The scene above, children in the Peruvian high country watching
over the flocks of sheep, calls to mind ...
First with fear, then curiosity, then great joy, the shepherds
are the first to hear the Good News. The poor outcasts of
that society are the first to honor the Babe in the manger.
He would grow and stand with them. Jesus would proclaim
His way first to the poor, the marginalized, and the outcasts.
Those who are considered last will be first in the Kingdom
of God.
The message of Christmas has a very special meaning
“Today in the city of David a savior has been born
to God’s people in the St. James mission sites for they are
for you who is Messiah and Lord.” Luke 2: 11
the "poorest of the poor."
They can identify well with
the Holy Couple for whom
there is no room. Too many
of the women have given
birth in similar conditions.
The men know all too well
the urgency of protecting
the family. Like children everywhere the kids enjoy caring for the animals and are
fascinated when strangers
come to call. With this deep
identification with the Holy
Family, they believe completely that God is with us,
even in spite of their setting
of grinding poverty.
Later on Christmas Day
the Good News is expressed
The poor of the St. James missions, like the poor and marginalized in the Christmas Gospel
in a different way in the litreadings, are filled with the Good News, and know that God is with them.
We prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the birth
of Jesus Christ, Light of the World.
From the estera straw mat homes of the Peruvian desert, to the
flooded urban outskirts of Ecuador, the poor of the Society's
mission sites believe God is with us and have reason to hope.
urgy’s Gospel reading: “In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the
Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and
we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of
grace and truth” ( John: 1, 14). These words from St. John’s
Gospel teach us that Jesus Christ is the fullness of divine
truth, the complete truth that God wished to communicate
to humankind, God’s message of love and forgiveness.
The Good News of Christmas is that this truth became
flesh. The ever existent Word
of God became one like us in
all things but sin. Jesus is the
Savior who knows human joy
and fear, love and disappointment and even anxiety and hopelessness on the cross. The
Child born in Bethlehem would grow to proclaim, “I am the
Resurrection and the Life” ( John 11: 25); “I am the Light of
the World” ( John 8: 12). In the Christmas Child we see the
promise of light for our darkest moments, the promise of life
in the face of death.
The Word of God – Emmanuel – is with us until the end
of time. He is present with us in the Sacred Scriptures, in
the sacraments that we share, in the divine love that dwells
in our hearts. It is, therefore, with great joy that we too can
proclaim on Christmas:
liked. Its title is “Todos los
días nace el Señor” (Every
Day the Lord is Born). Its
message is powerful and
articulates why we can be
joyful at Christmas. The
words speak of a darkened
world where the birth of
Christ disperses the light;
how the freedom He
brings breaks our chains;
how He responds to all
peoples who cry out in pain; that He brings peace to a bleeding world; that He enables us to defeat selfishness, enabling
us to reach out to others in love. As the song says, this is
In the far south of Peru, in Moquegua, where I worked for
over ten years, we sang a Christmas Carol that I especially
In Los Pastorcitos de Fatima, where Fr. Liam Reilly works, the
opening of a new childcare center brings great hope and joy to
the many families who will benefit from the services provided.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace
to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2: 14
" Todos Los Días Nace El Señor"
by Juan Antonio Espinosa
Para esta tierra sin luz, nace el Señor; para vencer las
tinieblas, nace el Señor; para cambiar nuestra vida,
todos los días nace el Señor.
Para traernos libertad, nace el Señor, rompiendo nuestras
cadenas, nace el Señor; en cada hombre que es libre,
todos los días nace el Señor.
Para quitar la opresion, nace el Señor; para borrar
la injusticia, nace el Señor; en cada puebla que grita,
todos los días nace el Señor.
Para vencer la pobreza, nace el Señor; para los pobres
que sufren, nace el Señor; por la igualdad de los pobres,
todos los días nace el Señor.
Para traernos la paz, nace el Señor; para esta tierra
que sangra, nace el Señor; en cada hombre que lucha,
todos los días nace el Señor.
Para traernos amor, nace el Señor; para vencer el egoísmo,
nace el Señor; para estrechar nuestras manos,
todos los días, nace el Señor.
Para este mundo dormido, nace el Señor; para inquietar
nuestras vidas, nace el Señor; en cada hombre que espera,
todos los días nace el Señor.
" Every Day The Lord Is Born"
God is with us in the sacraments we share. Above: Youth from the
Parish of Jesus Christ, Bread of Life are confirmed. Below: Children
of a catechesis group prepare for their First Communion.
not just something that only happened once centuries ago.
Every day Christ can be born in the heart of faith. May
the Lord once again be born in your heart this Christmas
morning and in every day of the New Year 2011. Todos los
días nace el Señor. Wishing you and your loved ones a very
Happy and Merry Christmas.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Kevin Hays
Translated by Fr. Kevin Hays
For this darkened world, the Lord is born; to conquer
darkness, the Lord is born; to change our life,
every day the Lord is born.
To bring us freedom, the Lord is born; to smash our chains,
the Lord is born; in each person who is free,
every day the Lord is born.
To take away oppression, the Lord is born; to wipe out
injustice, the Lord is born; in those peoples who clamor,
every day the Lord is born.
To conquer poverty, the Lord is born; for the poor who
suffer, the Lord is born; for the equality of the poor,
every day the Lord is born.
To bring us peace, the Lord is born; for a bleeding world,
the Lord is born; for each person who struggles,
every day the Lord is born.
To bring us love, the Lord is born; to conquer selfishness,
the Lord is born; to take us by the hand,
every day the Lord is born.
For a sleeping world, the Lord is born; to disturb our lives,
the Lord is born; in each person who hopes,
every day the lord is born.
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The Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, Inc • 24 Clark St. • Boston, MA 02109
Tel: (617) 742-4715 • e-mail: [email protected] • website: www.socstjames.com