Sunday, January 09, 2011

Turning the Page on Christmas 2010

Well, tonight we turn the page and, liturgically speaking from a Catholic perspective, officially close the Christmas season. No one like to see Christmas go, especially not me. I take serious the charge to "keep Christmas with [me] all through the year!" While I believe that notion to be true, Fr. Dan's homily tonight (I went to a neighboring parish today) struck me: To paraphrase, in a homily in which he shared his childhood experience of his parents' rocky marriage and subsequent divorce, he said that the Christmas story is nice, but it's not why Christ came to earth or what we are all about as Christians. We are really Easter people so it's necessary that we encounter and experience Jesus the adult which today, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, is all about. That's why the feast marks the transition from Christmas to Ordinary Time. Fr. Dan underscored that God is there in the messes and the dumps and we need those experiences to encounter God there, too. So, he said, the trappings and external signs of Christmas will be gone (literally, he offered the pointsettias to anyone who wanted to take them home) in the next two days but our journey continues.

It was a very thoughtprovoking homily that left people with lots to ponder. It was also one in which Fr. Dan's human honesty about his own journey very well may have saved or will save a life as often times the miracles of every day life are the ones we never hear.

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