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You are my servant through whom I show my Glory

Isaiah 49:3



My Dear Friends in Christ,


Seems hard to believe that we enter fully into Ordinary Time. We spent the Christmas season looking at the JOY (Christmas itself) of the Family (Feasts of the Holy Family, the Epiphany, and the Baptism of the Lord. God’s gift of Joy in Christ served as the culmination of our Advent series, Choose JOY! JOY is not happiness which comes and goes. JOY, so perfectly celebrated at Christmas, is the grace of knowing God comes, is always present to me, even and especially in my struggles, my darkness, my messiness.


God’s Joy in Jesus Christ comes closer than we could ever imagine in the humanity of Jesus which draw on His family.

God entrusted Mary and Joseph with Jesus, placing Him where He could grow in grace and age and wisdom.

Surrounded not necessarily by physical comforts but by the comfort and security of the love of Mary and Joseph which revealed to the growing and developing Child, God’s love. This grace of God’s love revealed through the love of family sanctifies all families and opens for us a new dignity.


Deacon George preached so beautifully about the graces of our own particular families, natural and chosen, as a place where one learns to be open to God’s Will. With the Feast of the Epiphany we expanded that outward to focus on our Church family which develops and strengthens us to bring the light of Christ to the world. Last week, we saw that this development and strength is the heart of our vocation. Each has a vocation that arises from baptism. At Baptism, we received our primary identity as a child of God and the primary call to follow Jesus, making known God’s love to all.


And this week, we take that primary vocation that each of us shares and examine it as a foundation for the individual vocation each one of us has received (or is receiving) from God. There are five basic points we need to know about our particular vocation:


  1. A vocation is a gift from God.

  2. Like a person’s identity, a vocation is received in the family.

  3. Like a person’s identity, a vocation is who a person is rather than what he or she does.

  4. A vocation is not self-serving.

  5. A vocation builds the Kingdom and draws one closer to God.


Each one of us, hopefully, can look back and see how our vocation was formed, even as our identity developed. God doesn’t force us or seek to control us, rather God invites us through our vocation to share in the Joy first offered in Jesus Christ, the JOY of revealing to the world that a Child is born to us, Who is Wonder Counselor, Father Forever, Mighty God and True Prince of Peace. Even with the struggles inherent in this gift, how can we say anything but Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to people of good will!


Peace,


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The Pastorate of St. Francis - St. Mary & Holy Family is one faith community, two Catholic parishes located in Brunswick, Petersville and Middletown Maryland. We welcome everyone to join us and our prayer is that you will encounter Christ among us!

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7321 Burkittsville Rd

Middletown, MD 21769

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