Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holy Things for a Holy Family

We celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  They took great risks and endured great suffering knowing that Jesus was gift to the world and not just for themselves.  In fact each of the Lucan visits by Jesus to the temple required his parents surrender of him.  May this remind us that every child born will someday be surrendered to reach her or his potential.  In particular will we be advocates for every child both in and out of the womb?  Through solid parenting, and a more openness to adoption we can begin to provide each child born the gift to be for another. God bestows his favor on all members of his Holy family, and we have been made holy through baptism and nourished through the Eucharist.  A Holy Family.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Living the Incarnation

Give me a break....seems like every year beginning with the first day of November until the 26th December we start to hear about this "war on Christmas".....   The same voices each year try to convince us that somehow the reality of Jesus' incarnation is relegated to about three months.  Silly we who believe such nonsense.  Actually Christmas, or what I rather call the Feast of the Incarnation of God-in the Flesh (little wordy?), and its meaning is for us a 24/7 mission.  Why only honor Christ for three months? How about all year?  Those nay-sayers seem rather arrogant to somehow imply that everyone is out to get us "Christians"  BTW, if there was ever a time when war clouds were appearing it was the time of Jesus' birth.  remember the attempted genocide against the baby boys led by Herod?  Or how about the occupation of Palestine...this time by the Romans?  Or the Gentile spies out to make Jewish life as difficult so perhaps it would even cease to exist?  Now that is a real war friends.

Jesus answer to the times he lived in was to respond with humility. His birth as are all births, is humility par excellence. Totally dependent. Later he would depend on God the Father and taught us to do the same.  His humility is how we are to live the spirit of the incarnation that has been shared with us in baptism.  So if we ever have acted in accordance to his word, standing with the oppressed and vulnerable, caring for the sorrowing, loving another as we have been taught, then we have lived the fruits of this holy season.  Lets not fall for any trap by limiting Christmas message to a few months.  To those who would say there is a "war of Christmas", I say "HUMBUG"  Christ is Born, Glorify Him!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rejoice?

Not sure how to speak about joy after the news this Friday. This Sunday calls us to be joyful and glad; however a somber pall covers our nation and all people of good will; this Sunday calls us to joyfully know that our Lord is near; but too many of us question how could the Lord be so close and this tragedy still occur?  May I offer the reply to John the Baptist when asked during difficult times….to return to the creator’s design for humankind; to return to charity, unselfish love, and gentle humility. In other words, return to the innocence of a child….  Perhaps this is the best way to honor them, as they truly represent what and who we await in the person of Christ.  The one who like a child does not see the other as a threat or one who is different, but one to offer and recieve love. We may reflect on the joy of our own children, or our own child-like joys; and as a people of faith, perhaps to recommit again to that innocent joy, of wonder, of trust, of knowing that one is loved and cherished by another. For that childlike innocence is the joy that comes with this approaching holy day.  Remember that childlike joy in our own lives, and perhaps we could commit it to our adult decisions, and how we can work together as a people. Work so that these tragic events that destroy that joy, that destroy the innocence that was never intended to be only of a child, but for all of us a children of God; will cease.  We can commit to the restoration of humanity that Jesus came to provide.We can honor this tragedy by remembering and caring for our own goodness, our joys and innocence of our own childhood, to remind us and transform us, to the reason that Jesus comes among us…to bring us joy; by coming to us as a child.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

No pushover this gal....


This feast is now the largest celebration of Catholics on this continent.  We today join with the millions of Catholic faithful who look to Mary, under the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe for joy, family, and hope.  Joy: in her bearing of the Christ, and of all children born of women. Family: the image of mother in the human family who gathers, nourishes, and protects her loved ones. And hope: loving mothers never stop sacrificing and encouraging their children to reach their potentials.  Therefor this mass is offered for all moms, living on earth and in heaven, and for all who see virgin of Guadalupe as a model for our own lives.

Guadalupe is not some passive, or weak person, but is aggressive, strong, and alive with the Holy Spirit.  After all she was filled with God’s spirit at her annunciation, so she could bear to the world the fire of God’s love made flesh in Jesus Christ.  In a way she was privileged to experience a “pre-Pentecost”.  And as a mother she was not afraid to do whatever it took to care for that life….risking loss of familiar home and community.  She led the Holy family by her trusting in God…..Later Jesus would show the epitome of that trust in sacrificing all for our very lives.  Guadalupe is not afraid to search the streets, the underpasses of our roads and highways, the cardboard boxes and slums where the poor find little shelter.  She gives as a mother gives of her own milk, in the form of hot soup, blankets, water and any food that will sustain life.  She stands in front of her children and those who misguidedly would want to hurt, rape, or even kill any of her own. Her image and name led the people of Mexico to freedom from Spain,  And she can lead us to freedom from the bondage of sin with the simple words “Do as my son tells you”  And in her son we find forgiveness from sin, and the promise of everlasting life.  Like any good mom, she always has the best advice.  Lastly, she is known as the first disciple, putting personal ambition aside to first and foremost follow her son.  She shows us how its done with unending faith, perseverance, and humility. She reminds us that in our own tough times, all things are possible with God. So if we are to honor her, how about some imitation….  May we never be afraid to search out the lost, the neglected, the forgotten, the marginalized, the elderly and sick; those living in fear and in the shadows with the same drive and fearless love of Guadalupe.  For though her example, we too can bear her son who is the author and giver of all life.  Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!,  long live those who trust in God.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Barriers......

video
Scripture for this second Sunday of Advent remind us of the barriers that keep us from the saving power of God. Through Christ we have been enlightened by His teachings and are to be His missionaries until he returns.  How many barriers to we create that keep us from his love.  May we learn from the "Anawim", God's faithful with little power but great trust in God. They continue to show us Christ's saving and merciful love.  We only need to level those barriers.  May the humble "Anawim", St. Juan Diego, God's chosen one who witnessed the Theotokos visit to remind us to "do what her Son has taught us", be a source of strength this week. Advent light grows warmer and brighter as if to illumine the Anawim in our midst.  They can help us see the salvation of God if we remove the barriers.  And for those who may wonder what is all this "Our Lady of Guadalupe Mary stufff this week"?, a primer from Busted Halo.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Let us run to greet our Christ!

As our daylight shortens we live more in darkness.  However many of our brothers and sisters are living in darkness daily regardless of the season.  They are our immigrant sisters and brothers.  I was chastised recently for supporting those who would come to this country without "papers".  How fitting to the season if we as people of faith could bring about hopeful anticipation to the many who yearn for the hope promised by Christ.  If we are to run to greet Him, we must be willing to "minister to Him" as we pray in the second Eucharistic Prayer. A gradual change of heart will do this as each week our Advent Wreath brings more light. These valleys and mountains we create can be made smooth.