2002-12-29 The printer of the parish bulletin requires
December 29, 2002
The printer of the parish bulletin requires that we “go to press” before Christmas so that his firm may have a holiday too. So I am supposed to write about how wonderful our Christmas has been before it starts. I can do that with a clear conscience, knowing that it is and will be glorious — all Twelve Days of Christmas — because I know that the same Holy Spirit who “overshadowed” our Blessed Lady and formed Christ in her womb, overshadows us in countless ways and makes every day in our parish an occasion of grace for many. For this I am very grateful, and not only to the Holy Spirit but to all of you through whom He works. The parish is my greatest Christmas present and the only one I need. If I could tell all the wondrous things God does day in and day out in the lives of people who come here, it would be a microcosm of all salvation history — for what we call “salvation history” is human experience since Christ the Living Word came and dwelt among us.
As the Holy Family suffered because of the political climate of their day, so is our world distressed with conflicts in this holy season. The Pope says he fears a future bathed in blood. Our Masses and Novenas and our individual prayers are offered at this time for our President and Armed Forces and for all the world leaders who bear heavy burdens in the pursuit of peace with justice. In this life wars will never end and the innocent suffer in every war. Pray that God’s grace will enlighten and protect all those who govern and defend. In the darkest days of the year, the Light of the World is made flesh among us. And when all human prospects seem dim, the Light of Heaven is kindled in time and space to transfigure daily problems and to show the way to the glories of Heaven. In the seventeenth century (just a few minutes ago in the perspective of human history) the Catholic poet Richard Crashaw wrote as a Christmas hymn:
Come we shepherds whose blest sight
Hath met love’s noon in nature’s night;
Come, lift we up our loftier song,
And wake the Sun that lies too long.
To all our world of well-stol’n joy
He slept; and dreamt of no such thing.
While we found out heav’n’s fairer eye
And kist the cradle of our King.
Fr. George W. Rutler