Nov 18, 2018
My dear sisters and brothers,
Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming. If you don't know it, listen to the commercials. In the Church we have octaves (8 days) after a great feast, we have novenas (9 days) preparing for a feast but the commercial world has two to three months to celebrate the feast days. It seems to make the anticipation more hectic and the pressure more immediate but with a let down when we get to the event. So how can we bring Christ into the picture?
The two widows in the readings this past Sunday solved the problem. They didn't have much, one was going to starve and die, the other gave of what she needed to live on. So there were no distractions. They gave their all.
This coming Sunday Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple. This ends the ability of the Jewish people to offer sacrifice to God, over a million people will be killed when Jerusalem falls to the Romans. It is a total disaster and the Jewish people are scattered all over the world. We see signs of disasters (shootings) today, the change in the world's ecology, The anger separating and making it difficult to solve problems. Is the end near? It is for some of us, sooner than we planned on, to others they have more time. So, let's get back to Christmas.
I like following the Church's calendar, Christ the King, the end of the Church year, advent to follow. Perhaps, we can enter and follow the preparation with the readings. What gifts to bring? How about something that has to do with Christ presence in our midst? Christmas cards should be appropriate, our gifts should not be what the person likes but how can we get the message across. It might not make us popular but it will bring the Good News to the person. Draw names so that you don't have to worry about giving everyone a gift, just the one whose name you have-at the office, in the family-perhaps you can do this at the Thanksgiving get-to-gether. Simplify as best you can. Give yourself time to reflect on priorities, what is essential, what is nice to do but doesn't have to be done.
May the Sprit of Wisdom and Right Judgment be of help to you.