Friday, December 30, 2016

"I don't know why sometimes I get frightened"

Because Christmas fell Sunday this year today Roman Catholics observe the Feast of the Holy Family. This feast is usually observed on the Sunday after Christmas. In my years serving at The Cathedral of the Madeleine I almost always preached on this feast. We celebrate this wonderful feast, which highlights the fact that despite the unusual circumstances surrounding His birth, God saw fit that His only begotten Son be born into a family so that He would have the care of both a mother and a father. I rather like the Alternative Prayer for today's feast provided in the Liturgy of the Hours:
Father in heaven, creator of all,
your 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 forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord
As theologian Dr. Tim O'Malley wrote: "The feast of the Holy Family is a celebration of divine solidarity. It's not about trying to save ourselves through becoming the perfect family."

Just because, or, as the Monty Python players used to announce at various points of their television show The Flying Circus, "And now for something completely different," our final Friday traditio of 2016 is one of the best New Wave songs of the 1980s- Split Enz singing "I Got You":

Maybe it's because I have marriage and relationships weighing heavily on my mind due to the fact that my task the rest of today is to finish my pastoral psychology term paper, which is on fostering intimacy in marriage and this can't help but cause me to indulge my own insecurities, even if just a little:
Look at you, you're a pageant
You're everything, that I've imagined
Something's wrong, I feel uneasy
You show me, tell me you're not teasin'
I know this is kind of a weak post with which to end the year, but 2016 would be a difficult year to sum up. How blessed we are that one year gives way to another; the future flows from the past through the present. So, to both of my readers, I pray only for God to pour out His blessings upon you as we approach that crucial junction that splits off into 2017.

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