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Enjoying life is what we are promised by Jesus; I have come that you may have life in abundance according to St. John (John 10:10). But the preface of that promise is where most people live life among the thieves who steal and kill their joy. While this is the Season of Joy, the Joy Christ gives is meant to be lived year round.

Life goes by so fast! This year is about to end. Christmas lights are on and stores are prepared to make their best sales of the year. The Christmas spirit brings great joy and hope to those who remember the birth of the Savior and prepare spiritually for the baby Jesus in the manger of their hearts. For others, Christmas is a shopping, dining, partying season deprived from the ever present experience of God’s Divine Love honoring His promise of Salvation for humankind made long ago.

The Father gives us the greatest gift, His own Son. Someone we can trust and receive in our hearts, for He can help you make the right decisions and live the life of abundance that only He provides. Anyone may, at some point, take the wrong path. But everything is doable with Jesus because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Pope Francis gave us a great blessing by declaring 2021 the year of Saint Joseph and inviting us to think deeply about this father, husband, and son of God. On the verge of the year’s end, I want to stress that the Scriptures have no recollection of anything said by Saint Joseph but talk about him and how he acted in the face of the challenges. Saint Joseph was a human like us who experienced fear, doubts, suffering and, nevertheless, managed to seek what he should do in, through and with God’s counsel. He was a man of prayer and had an intimate relationship with God.

Saint Matthew describes Saint Joseph as a righteous man (Matthew 1:18-25). What does this mean? The word righteous in Hebrew refers to a person who yields to the right path. We know from Matthew 1:24 that Saint Joseph chose to yield his thoughts to those of God’s and to follow the right path; God’s path but he first had to wake up. Just like we all have to do, wake up; to receive the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus, so she may nurture Him in us and He may grow in us so that we too become righteous. This is an example of what all men and women are to learn from Saint Joseph; he who turns silence into concrete actions by yielding to God’s will and thus fulfilling the Promise of Jesus to live life abundantly.

After baby Jesus’ birth, King Herod planned to kill Him. But, again, an angel warns Joseph that he should flee to Egypt to protect his family. We know that Saint Joseph was given a mission by God, just as you and I have been given one but we have to wake up to that fact. Let us prepare our hearts this month for the arrival of the baby Jesus, just as Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph did. What is most important for our Father is that we receive His Son in our hearts so that He becomes the Light of our life. Jesus is your right path, simply yield. I recommend a good confession to prepare the soul and celebrate the arrival of our Savior and live fully in the Grace of God that is waiting for you to experience.

The parties are secondary. The important thing is to remember that Jesus was born in a manger surrounded by the love of His parents and those who were made aware of this great Joy by an angel in the night.

When I was a little boy, 4 or maybe 6 years old, we lived in a cardboard tenement in Tijuana. We spent many Christmases there. Despite scarcity, I was content with the cookies I received as a Christmas gift. In my heart, I thought everybody lived like us until I grew up and found out that the world was different.

Today, I thank God for the challenges that my mother and I faced because we learned to believe in God and figured out that we had a mission in this life. My mother (may she rest in peace) and I bear witness to God’s Love and now freely share it, especially, with the empty-hearted. God has a right path for you simply awake to it for the time to slumber has passed according to St. Paul.

I want you to know that your name is written on God’s list; without waking up to this fact you may only receive a cookie like I settled for in TJ. But don’t let the world and its challenges strip you from the greatest gift, the Salvation of your soul; receive the Savior of the World this Christmas Day with Joy and confidence as one of His own, a member of God’s Family.

As 2021 draws to a close, let us all continue to pray for the families that saw their loved ones depart during COVID-19. May the Lord grant them strength and hope that their beloved may enjoy their eternal glory.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! With deep gratitude from our ESNE family I pray to Jesus and ask Him to meet your needs, to pour His Grace and Blessings on you in 2022. Your contributions continue to change lives by enabling ESNE to spread the Message of God to call everyone to righteousness; awake to His Joy to the World this Christmas Season as together we ring the bell of Good Tidings to all.

I pray for the intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph for all your families. I send you a loving embrace in Christ Jesus. Shalom!