Feast of the Holy Family
of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Genesis 15:1-6; 21:1-3 or Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19
Luke 2:22-4 or 2:22, 39-40
Before she gave birth, Mary visited her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in her womb leapt for joy! The baby was John the Baptist. It was the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary that caused John to leap for joy. Christmas reminds us of our vocation to be like Mary, that is, to bring joy to others by bringing Christ to others.
How do we do this? One way is with words.
We bring Christ to others whenever we share the Word of God. We bring Christ to others when we use words of affection, like those written in our Christmas cards. We bring Christ to others when we speak kind words, words that build up and don’t tear down.
We bring Christ to others when we speak those beautiful words "I’m sorry" and "I forgive." We bring Christ to others when we speak the simple word "Welcome" at the door of our house, at the door of this church and at the door of our hearts.
We also bring Christ to others by our actions. We priests and Ministers of the Eucharist bring Christ to others when we give Holy Communion. But we also bring Christ to others when we give food to the poor. We bring Christ to others when we give the gift of a smile.
We bring Christ to others when we give the gift of our time, a listening ear and an understanding heart. We bring Christ to others when we comfort the bereaved, work for peace and help those whose hearts are broken. We bring Christ to others when they see us practicing our faith, going to church and keeping the commandments.
Would you like to be an artist? Henry David Thoreau said, "It is something to be able to paint a particular picture…but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look. To affect the quality of the day – that is the highest of arts."
"To affect the quality of the day…"
Is there love in our hearts? That affects the quality of the day. By our loving words and loving actions we bring Christ to others. We can make everyday Christmas.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/