This Sunday before the Feast of the Incarnation falls on the first day of the civil calendar year. In Canada it’s a time to review the past year before looking to the future: best books, worst weather, top pop songs . . .
As a spiritual community about to embark on our annual celebration of Christ’s birth, we might do well to reflect on how we have manifested Christ. Christmas is nothing less than God’s Love taking flesh in time and place. Jesus Emmanuel: God with us. The life of this man Jesus, His teaching, His very being, is summed up in one essence: love.
Our church year, indeed every person’s life, is spent in seeking how to embody this love. The Gospels, our Faith Tradition, our cultural heritage and our community interactions illuminate God in all creation—and all creation is interconnected.
Since 2014, when Fr. Myroslaw was assigned to this parish of the Holy Transfiguration, we have journeyed together in this discovery of God with us and in us. In our liturgies, bulletins, gatherings and celebrations, we have helped each other find the joy of reaching beyond ourselves to consider others with kindness and yes, love. We welcome everyone. We do not exclude.
What have we done?
We have learned about global interconnections whereby our desire to buy cheap goods shackles workers in less wealthy nations to poor working conditions and slave wages. For this reason it is imperative that we buy only FAIR TRADE coffee for our gatherings and at home when possible.
We looked at the interconnection of all creation and our responsibility to act to save our environment from further degradation. How? By supporting environmentally responsible governments and protesting actions such as the current move to develop designated green space. It is our duty as Ukrainian Catholics to protect creation.
As a community we grieve our deceased members and rejoice the births and birthdays of those among us.
We support Ukraine with many initiatives.
We have grown in awareness of domestic abuse here and in Ukraine. We strive for equality amongst all people.
We support the Working Centre and we keep a free Pantry to reach out to our local community in need.
We share our culture with the local community through initiatives like Doors Open and Discover Ukraine.
This is simply a start to a reflection on the steps we take while growing in our likeness to the Trinity: many in one, dynamic, overflowing with love.
As we approach Christmas, please take time to think of all the ways we grow in Christ: how Christ is born again and again in you and me. Let’s rejoice and be glad . . . God is with us.