Christmas Reflections from Very Rev. Henry J Davis, S.S.J. Chief Religious Officer.

  • Fr. Davis

    Christmas Reflections from Very Rev. Henry J Davis, S.S.J. Chief Religious Officer.

    He was a baby and a child, so that you may be a perfect human. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, so that you may be freed from the snares of death. He was in a manger, so that you may be in the altar. He was on earth that you may be in the stars. He had no other place in the inn, so that you may have many mansions in the heavens. "He, being rich, became poor for your sakes, that through his poverty you might be rich." Therefore his poverty is our inheritance, and the Lord's weakness is our virtue. He chose to lack for himself, that he may abound for all. The sobs of that appalling infancy cleanse me, those tears wash away my sins. Therefore, Lord Jesus, I owe more to your sufferings because I was redeemed than I do to works for which I was created... You see that he is in swaddling clothes. You do not see that he is in heaven. You hear the cries of an infant, but you do not hear the lowing of an ox recognizing its Master, for the ox knows his Owner and the donkey his Master' crib. [Exposition of the Gospel of Luke]

    One day on an Advent Sunday afternoon, I visited a parishioner who could not come to church due to her son’s autism. She attempted to make it to the church many times but trying to get her son ready and motivated to celebrate a Sunday service became a hassle. He gets agitated with his finely pressed clothes and fancy shoes. He really loves the relaxed fit of his Polo shirt, blue jeans and his soft brown slippers. His mother commented the many times that Roland cannot stay still in the pew to focus on prayer.

    I have been visiting the family for many months on a recent Sunday I was thinking to myself that they probably will not attend this Christmas mass. Roland truly loves Christmas Season. I mentioned to him that Jesus’ birthday was coming and on this particular Sunday he met me at the door and led me to his Christmas scene under the family Christmas tree. I was surprised that Roland set up the traditional manger scene with a few additions. In the manger scene, Roland placed a picture of his mother, a picture of himself and a picture of me in the manger scene. “Roland,” I asked, “how did you get a picture of me to put in the manger with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?” He politely pointed to a Josephite Harvest and told me, “You bring Jesus to momma and me every Sunday in our house, you should be there with Jesus in his house on his birthday.”

    As Roland explained his thoughtful expression of Christmas to me, his mother was standing right behind him with tears streaming down her cheeks and the widest smile that a proud mother can show. She later told me that Roland decorated the whole tree and the manger scene with no help from anyone. Roland reminded me that Christmas is always where Jesus’ presence is abiding. Hopefully, He is there our hearts. Maybe this passage from John’s gospel and the epistle of John can help us with the true meaning of the season: 

    God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him (1 John 4:9). For God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Why was it necessary that God's only begotten Son, the Word of God, become flesh? The Word became flesh for us to save us by reconciling us with God our Father. God loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). The Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14). The Word appeared to take away sins (1 John 3:5). The Word became flesh that we might know and experience the love of God.

    Jesus’ presence and likewise the season of Christmas should have a place in our hearts and minds. On behalf of the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites) and St. Augustine High School faculty, staff and students we pray that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, your glory breaks on the world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled the earth. Amen. 

    St. Joseph, pray for us!  
    St. Augustine, pray for us!
    Very Rev. Henry J Davis, S.S.J. Chief Religious Officer.

     

     

     


Faith & Service

  • Mass At the heart of St. Augustine High School’s community is our spiritual atmosphere, which sets us apart from other area high schools. Students have the opportunity to explore, challenge, develop, and live out their faith through our theology curriculum, campus ministry, liturgy, retreats, and service program.

    Lead by our Catholic tradition, we develop students to their fullest potential as leaders and as responsible citizens of the world. We are guided by a strong set of moral values, a sense of service and a love of learning.

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    Through service hours and community service projects, students carry out God’s message and manifest his love here on earth. We believe that Jesus calls us to minister to our neighbors in the everyday passage of life. Our programs are inclusive of all faith backgrounds and we seek to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere in our St. Augustine community.