Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

Our festivities leading to Christmas are coming soon. It has been our parish custom for the past three years to use this opportunity to raise funds for a project intended for the upkeep of our parish buildings. I am certain that you are aware of our needs. Our enthusiastic cooperation makes a lot of difference to make this year’s raffle initiative a success. We should not let the current situation brought on by the pandemic paralyze our efforts to achieve our goal. Different though it may be from the previous years, in terms of the dynamics and logistics of selling the raffle tickets, I am confident that our efforts together will bring us success to raise the urgently needed parish funds.

The theme of this year’s Christmas Raffle is: To Restore Everything in Christ. We used this theme in 2017, so it might seem redundant. However, the wisdom of this saying remains pertinent to our current situation as a local church. It affirms the challenge for our generation today to restore our lives in Christ, as we are involved in a fast-changing mode of existence that often takes us away from the most significant and relevant aspects of our Christian discipleship.

St. Pius X (1835-1914) used this phrase during his papacy as he envisioned the necessity of bringing all in Christ as the center of everything and anything that the world is involved with. “Instaurare omnia in Christo” was the original Latin phrase that was promoted during his papacy. His legacy still remains today in terms of the sound doctrines of our Faith, such as the promotion of daily reception of Holy Communion which he promoted as the medicine for sinners and not a reward for the righteous and virtuous. He rooted out “modernism” in his famous Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis (On The Doctrines Of The ModernistsSept. 8, 1907). Having our Christmas Raffle oriented towards the needed restoration of our parish buildings is not simply to limit the scope of our efforts towards raising funds. Rather, it is a reminder for all of us to have a sense of renewal to the call to discipleship to which all baptized Christians ought to respond. Yes, we are called to restore everything in Christ by being collaborators in building God’s Kingdom in our midst.

We would like to congratulate our newly confirmed students this weekend. Let us continue to pray for them and encourage them also to deepen their own encounter with the Lord Jesus. I would like to call on their parents and their sponsors to consistently model for them the meaning of discipleship. Their spiritual growth depends on the assistance of those who are willing to show them what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. The Profession of Faith that we profess out loud each Sunday at Mass should instill in us our communion with as well as our commitment to each other as Christians. This commitment is indicative of our willingness to actively participate in the life of the Church. Our communal effort, whether it is in liturgy, social life, service, catechetical life, or economic life, should usher us to a deepening of our encounter with Jesus Christ. I hope that our First Communicants, and those who already received the Sacrament of Confirmation in previous months, may continue to practice their faith in the life of supernatural grace according to what God is dreaming for each of us.

Finally, the end of the liturgical season is upon us. It offers us a special moment to be more reflective on how we have lived the Gospel values over this past year. Taking time for a personal evaluation is a way for us to have a spiritual inventory of our growth as Jesus’ disciples. Keep the faith! Keep the energy! As our life dynamics have changed over the last eight months, let us hope that something good will come out of it. God knows how to bring all things together. As Saint Paul says in the second reading this weekend,

“When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.”

(1 COR 15:28)

Have a blessed week and stay safe.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,