Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

One of my earliest memories of Christmas, is of our family Manger Scene.

It was like a book which drew me into the mystery of Christmas.

I remember it vividly.

It was made up of 16 plaster statues

There were Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

3 Shepherds two of whom were kneeling,

3 kings one was kneeling and one led a camel,

There was an angel she was dressed in blue and she had a white sash with her name written on it.

There was a cow without a tail, and a donkey without an ear.

Finally there were three little sheep who used to ride with baby Jesus in coal car of my train when my Mother and Dad weren’t looking.

The figures were pretty bumped up from 2 boys and 4 grandchildren.

When were breaking up my Mom’s house I was so grateful and relieved that my nephew said he wanted the manger scene.

It's been in the family almost 61 years.
I can remember as a little boy laying on the floor of the living room and peering into the stable and rearranging the figures and telling myself the story over and over again.

As banged up as that little Manger scene was it taught me many important lessons.
Here is some of what I learned…

Jesus was born in a stable so that we might understand that a simple life can also be a good life.
He was born in the stable so that we might understand that we don’t need every new gadget and every new fad or convenience.

The stable teaches us that we don’t need huge houses impossible to clean and pay for.

The stable reminds us that sometimes we work too hard for things that rust and rot away.

This year as we look into the stable and gaze upon the manger… let us remember that simple can be good.

In the manger Jesus was…
Wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid on a bed of straw.
The manger held the food for the animals
It shape also made a perfect bed for Jesus.
But as I grew up I came to understand that there was a special symbolism here.
We all have hungers.
We hunger for something
The manger teaches us that Jesus and Jesus alone can satisfy our hunger.
Every time we gaze on the manger
it is important to remember that

Only God
Only God’s Love can fill us up
Every other “satisfaction” no matter what it is temporary.

Jesus so wonderfully present in the Eucharist can satisfy our hunger.
When you look at a Christmas scene you always see a star.
our star at home was an old Christmas tree light and a pice of tin foil
God wanted to make sure that everyone could find him
and that everyone knew that they were loved.

The star was a indeed a beacon of hope
A beacon of hope in a world quite frequently lonely and broken.
It is impossible to hide a bright light in the sky.
It is impossible not to notice a bright shining star.
Why the Star?
The message of the star and the message of the Gospel are clear
The star shown in the sky so that all of humanity in every age in every age and every circumstance might find God’s Son and feel God’s love.

Indeed over the centuries many have come guided by the light of faith

They came from the east bearing gifts
They came from the neighboring fields
They came from the heavens themselves
The Son of God was greeted by both shepherds and kings
The rich and the poor
The powerful and the weak
The famous and the not so famous 
The healthy and the sick 
The loud and the shy
The lowly and the great
Sinners and Saints.

And all of creation was filled with joy at the sight of a God who became a baby
In these frenetic days of family and friends
In these days of gifts, food, and drink.
Pray God that we learn the lessons of the Manger well

• A Simple life is a good life
• Only God can satisfy our deepest hungers
• God’s love is for everyone no matter what no matter what
Thank you, each and every one of you for being here tonight

Thank you giving a little bit of you time on these busy days to come and celebrate they mystery of God’s love.
From Deacon Carmen, the friars, our parish and our school’s staffs
Merry Christmas and a happy and Holy New Year


Love you Mom

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