Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Holy or Otherwise Family

The Church is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The Feast of the Holy Family used to be celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany, but in 1969 it was moved to the Sunday after Christmas. This is the PERFECT day to celebrate it.

What better time to ponder our families then when we have just had a great, big, heaping, steaming, noisy, overflowing helping of them? No matter how strenuously we each try for a humble, joyful, loving walk with our Lord, again in our midst as a beautiful Baby, did your buttons get pushed? Did the comparisons of who's smarter or more successful or prettier or has better-dressed children come up? Did your cousin's jello come out of the mold more beautifully than yours? Did your children spill Hawaiian punch on the new rug? Did you snap back at your sister? Any eyes rolled, or deep sighs emitted? Were you afraid to speak of your faith in the face of ridicule? And did the story of when you fell in the pond in 1970 in your new wool pants get told....again.....and you're a 48-year-old bank vice president?

Our relationship with our family, if rooted and grounded in Christ, still won't be smooth or easy. But we can ride along these rough parts, offering our discomfort in reparation, accepting it in humility, extending love to the hard-to-love, fetching and carrying and pouring coffee and kissing cheerfully in thanks, not just in amused tolerance, because we are also forgiven and tolerated and loved.

From today's Mass, the opening prayer, for all your families, and mine:

Father in heaven, creator of all, you ordered the earth to bring forth life and crowned its goodness by creating the family of man. In history's moment when all was ready, you sent your Son to dwell in time, obedient to the laws of life in our world. Teach us the sanctity of human love, show us the value of family life, and help us to live in peace with all men that we may share in your life for ever.

Happy second day of Christmas! Remember that cream cheese and sour cream should not be stopped abruptly: a little every few hours will have a sort of methadone effect....




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"There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know."

Pres. Barack Obama, Feb 5, 2009