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Renewed in Spirit to Work for the Lord

My Dear Brothers, Sisters and Children,

I thank God together with the parish community for the immense blessings He has showered upon St.Alphonsa Parish. I also thank each and everyone of the members of this parish for the amazing love, support and generous contribution of your time, talent and labor for the growth of the community. I place on record the hard work and commitment of the outgoing parish trustees and council members, especially, Mr. Thomas Sebastain Puthiaparambil, who has been very faithful in handling the financial matters with diligence for many years and Mr. George Varghese  Elamplakattu, a silent and unassuming person, helping with social and food committees. George has been always available to do any job for the church like cleaning up the surroundings, gardening and serving food. Thanks also to the excellent CCD team and teachers, our children, active youth group, different sub-committee members and volunteers for their dedication to and love for the church.  I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

With the glow of Christmas still burning brightly, it's a good time to contemplate the new year in light of the gift of Christ.   A new year gives us the feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning, and it brings us new opportunities. It is a time when people feel that they can put off the old and put on the new. "Whoever  is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." (2Cor. 5:17) “I am about to create a new heaven and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create.” (Is. 65:17-18) These words remind us to let the things of the past  go such as our anger, bitterness, pain, suffering and seemingly unforgivable events and be renewed in Christ. “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.” (Ez. 36:26). A renewed person has new principles, new rules, new ends and has new company. The heart of the renewed person is not merely set right, but a new heart is given him. “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:5) When we are   renewed in the spirit, we are able to see the face of God shining in our family members and neighbors. We are energized to work for the larger family, the Church. There are many people who have made great sacrifices for the growth of this church and community. Now with renewed spirit we need to continue to make a lot more sacrifices to build a new house for the Lord.

Let us, as a parish family  make three  new year resolutions focused on the Lord and his Church along with our personal resolutions .

1. Place yourself at the feet of the Lord each morning – Find time to be with the Lord each day, whether it be for an hour or ten minutes. Have a conversation with the Lord. Give your joys and worries to Him as well. Allow God's love to transform them. Our meetings with the Lord will keep our eyes and ears open to His presence in our midst.

2. Make a difference in your parish community – Believe it or not, our parish community can use your talents. Offering your talents to our faith community is one of the most effective ways to feel valued and connected to others.

3. Give more – Good stewards realize that everything they have is entrusted to them as gifts to be shared. There is no better place to begin sharing than with the community that gathers around the Lord's table at Mass. Consider what you are giving to your parish and local diocese and commit to an even greater contribution as circumstances allow.

Let us say this prayer of blessing everyday for each other in the new year, "The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26).

May God bless us and make his face to shine upon us. Wishing you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Mathew Elayadathamadam,msfs

Mar George Alencherry was born on 19th April 1945 in the parish of Thuruthy in the archdiocese of Changancherry as the sixth child of the ten children of Mr. Philipose and Mary Alencherry of whom two others are priests (Fr. Jose Alencherry and Fr. Francis Alencherry, SDB) and one, a religious sister (Sr. Cherupushpam, S.A.B.S.). Geevarghese is his baptismal name. Mar George Alencherry had his primary schooling at St Mary’s School, Thuruthy and secondary education at St Berchman’s High School, Changanacherry read more...

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