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December 22 Genealogy Sunday

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love." - John 15:9

I would like to thank all who made the events of this past weekend a success. Thank you to those who helped to plan organize or chair the banquets, the luncheons, the decorations, the rehearsals, and the music. Thank you to the members of both committees who took leadership roles. Thank you to the committees and all of those who volunteered for the liturgy including the choir and altar boys. Thank you to those who cooked, served, donated, and cleaned up. Thank you to those who invited friends and family, those who sold tickets, those who helped with printing, programming, and raffles. Thank you to those who cleared or changed their schedule to attend. Thank you to those who prayed for the success of the event. Thank you to those arranged for the dedication plaque. Thank you to those who improvised when "hiccups" occurred. Thank you to all who participated, because these events were for us to participate. May God bless you all.

Last week, as I was reading the scriptures I was struck by the power of what Jesus tells us in John 15:9, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love."

Kindergartners are taught that 100 is a large number. In elementary school we learn about infinity. In middle school we learn about a googleplex, in high school we might learn about larger numbers or even such wild concepts as densities of infinity. 

We may think as a child that the park is big, later that the planet is big, later that the solar system, galaxy or universe is big.

However, there is no bigger than when Jesus is talking about his love for us. Jesus says, "As the Father has loved me." This love is greater than all of creation because the Father's love for the Son is beyond creation and before creation. The universe is smaller in comparison to God's love than a single atom is to the universe or a single number to infinity. Every person ever created each using all of the resources of the universe living for all of the universe cannot even begin to fathom the breadth and depth of this love. 

The love of the Father for Jesus is so far beyond the love of all married couples at their best, of all parents, and of all earthly love that all earthly love, as great as it is, is as nothing. 

Now Jesus tells us that this infinite love is how he loves us. "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Jesus loves us with a love greater than the universe. Jesus loves us with a love that is so beyond us that he had to become man, so that we can become like him. Jesus makes us like him so that we can receive a love that is proper to divinity, proper to God.

If you understand what I have written there should only be three responses, "I want this love," " I have experienced this love in some small way and strive never to leave this love," or "Jesus and the Church are liars or out of touch with reality." Yet, in the end the love of God is reality.

-Our prayers are with Mireille Salem and family. Claude Abi Saber, mother of Mireille Salem, passed away in Lebanon last week. May she rest in peace. A 40 day liturgy will be offered for Claude Abi Saber on Dec 22 at 11 am.

Christmas Novena - Dec 17th -19th 7pm

Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch December 20   7 pm Liturgy followed by Christmas Novena

Sunday, December 22       

                  9 am and 11 am and Christmas Novena                   Kids Christmas party after 11 am liturgy

Christmas liturgies and Christmas Novena December 25

                                Midnight  (11:59 pm December 24th / 12:01 am December 25th) 

                                11 am          December 25th

Sunday, December 29                 9 am and 11 am

Feast of the Circumcision January 1         7 pm Wednesday, January 1.

Christmas Novena December 16th - December 24th. We will pray it together Tuesday-Friday Dec 17-20 at 7pm and December 22,24,25 before all liturgies.

We have to pay back $200,000 zero-interest loan. We have applied for a loan from the Knights of Columbus. However, we would prefer $150,000 in new donations to retire the loan.

Update on 5915 N Springboro Pike: As you know we have 5.21 acres of property for sale on a major road. Currently there is a 122,000 sq ft Kroger Marketplace being built .5 miles down the road. This implies a high growth potential for the area. Recently we have settled the price of our property from $989,000 to $899,000 a price recommended by the stewardship council and the real estate agency Mark Fornes Realty. Our property could sell as a church, as commercial, residential, or mix use. According to the real estate agency the sale of the property could take an additional year as the average listing length is 18 months for commercial property. Every month we hold the property will cost us a few thousand dollars. However, we can calculate that it is worth waiting for the right buyer. (We can calculate using a present value calculation and calculating for risk.)

Jesus came and said, “I have not come to be served, but to serve.” The Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles is blessed to have such dedicated and loving priests. As leaders of our faith family, these men have kept our Eparchy vibrant and spiritual throughout their years of committed service. Because they have answered a call to serve us it leaves us with a clear moral obligation. We must ensure the most basic needs of our past, present and future priests are met.

Watch our campaign video and learn more about how the Vision for the Future – Mission for Today Capital Campaign will benefit our retired priests who have so faithfully served our Maronite faith communities.

St. Ignatius of Antioch Church     Genealogy Sunday December 22, 2019

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