OLPH Church
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Byzantine Catholic Church

From the Pastor's Pen

Very Reverend
Edward G. Cimbala, D.Min
- Pastor -

Christ is Born!  Christos Razdajetsja!

At Christmas we often prepare a gift list.  Such a list includes children, parents, grandparents, and favorite friends.  One Person we sometimes forget is Jesus, even though Christmas is His birthday.  What would you think if someone planned a birthday party for you and everyone received a gift but you?

One reason for bringing gifts to Jesus is that He first gave a gift to us.  He didn’t stop with a little gift, but he gave all He had -- Himself.  The Bible says: ‘For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.’  (2nd Corinthians 8:9)

What are some of the best gifts we can give Jesus?  Love? Repentance? Obedience to His will? Helping someone in need? Visiting a lonely person or shut-in?  What special gift can we give Jesus this year?

God has gifted us as a parish family with many wonderful blessings.  One of the greatest gifts He has given us is our gift of faith.  This is a beautiful gift that continues to grow within us the more we give it away.  I think this is one of the finest gifts we can give Jesus -- sharing the gift of our faith with someone else.  As a parish family we are called to focus on the whole idea of Evangelization -- giving our faith away.  My prayer for this Christmas season is that we will be people who love to give our faith away.  We are not a selfish people.  We have such a great treasure in our faith.  Our faith is a double fortune because we practice our faith in our beautiful Byzantine Catholic tradition.  Be a faith giver -- that is one of the best gifts you can give Jesus this and every year!  It is a gift that I am positive He will never tire of receiving.

Why not invite someone who doesn’t have a church home to come along with you for the Christmas Divine Liturgy?  This is a glorious way to introduce someone to our Byzantine Catholic Church and to our Parish.

At this holy time of Christmas, when we are recalling the fact that God so loved the world that He sent His  Son Jesus into the world for us, I wish to thank you for the extraordinary ways each of you blesses my life.  It is indeed a special gift to be able to serve you as your pastor.

May your Christmas be wonder-filled and the New Year overflowing with God’s blessings.  Please know that you all are always in my prayers and I humbly ask you to remember me in yours.

Sincerely Yours in the Service of Christ and His People,