We get carried away with this holiday stuff, even the religious aspects of it. Lots of sentimental feel-good events and memories—that all is well and good and necessary for us to experience. But what is behind all of this? The attached graphic somewhat expresses when we allow the Sacred to take over our lives, what is ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Take some time to think about two young people: her about 14 years old, living with her family (Mary), him a few years older, a craftsman (Joseph). Two young people, betrothed through a local arranged engagement, just planning a normal family life in Nazareth (Nazareth would be what we would call a back-water town, no big deal). Then Mary has a revelation; Joseph a dream, and two lives touched by the Sacred become an adventure that changed all of history. They are taken away from their ordinary lives. Things look “normal enough;” they have to leave home and eventually their country to a foreign land, fleeing for safety and the life of their son (that sounds like life in our world today)—strangers in a strange land! Their Son realized his role through revelation and taught us how to live in union with God and our fellow humans.
Thousands still have to flee for their lives and the lives of their children.
So when you light candles and sing songs that touch your heart and decorate your homes to look like a scene from a Hallmark channel production, stop and think of those in our world who are fleeing for their lives and open your heart in love to them through our Heavenly Father. At any moment this could be any of us.
May the Holy Family be a guide and comfort to all people who are displaced and looking for that safe haven in this world.
See you in January –
I am your bro. John. O.C.P.