December 29th

Dear Parishioners, 

This weekend, as we celebrate the Holy Family, we see Jesus, which should be no surprise to us, but he is not the main character, his foster-father is, Joseph.  We should be grateful that Joseph paid attention to his dreams.  He was keenly aware, as were most people of his day, that God could indeed and did indeed communicate with his people.  And Joseph listened.  He remained in Bethlehem and then, at the Lord’s urging, took Mary and Joseph to Egypt.  Then, when it was safe, urged again in a dream, Joseph took his family home. The early years of Jesus’ life were chaotic.  These years speak of the reality of millions of people.  In our modern world, we are witnessing a magnitude of migration not seen since World War II.  As Christians, we are not unaware of this and also not unaware of the varied reactions and responses this brings about.  It emphasizes how we, as Christians, are called to see all aspects of a given situation, especially when in involves the safety and well being of our brothers and sisters.  Jesus and in fact the entire Holy Family were undeniably refugees, fleeing a dangerous, murderous, regime.  They stayed where they were safe, and returned home, only when it was possible.  We know that Jesus will ultimately lose his life at the hands of the state. It leaves little wonder why the gospel message is so popular among the outcast and marginalized.  It gives hope.  It demands courage.  It inspires creative and bold responses to hatred and fear.  Life is always about dying and rising to new life.  In so many ways, we are called to trust and move on.  If we read, hear, and live these Nativity gospels in a fresh and new way this Christmas season, perhaps we too will devote ourselves to doing what God calls us to do, for He does indeed communicate with his beloved people.  Let’s try to make every day in the coming new year a day when we can hear and respond to God’s loving message of hope and peace. Fr. Elston