Saturday, December 09, 2006

We are Called - DECEMBER 9, 2006

As I write these reflections on Sunday afternoon I have just come in from the Advent wreath workshop in the Church hall. What a joy it was to see over 50 families making Advent wreaths. The family is the Church in miniature. Our goal at St. Luke’s is to strengthen our parish by strengthening family life. It is important to especially pass on seasonal customs that can foster Catholic identity. A big thank you to Kim Andsager and Victoria Sever who organized the event with other members of the young mother’s group.

This weekend members of our parish’s finance committee will give the annual report. I believe we have been wise stewards of the treasure shared with the parish. Financial donations provide us with the resources needed to develop ministries here at St. Luke’s.

During the Advent season we are called to be mindful of the needy. Here is a reflection from the Office of Community Services and Advocacy here in our Diocese:

“As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, let us remember all the children who are born to us somewhere in the world every day who suffer from poverty, hunger, and disease, who are our sisters and brothers, who are the least among us, whom Jesus taught us to love.

Christ was born into a marginalized community, a child whose family had no voice in the economic and political structures of that time and place. Advent can be a time to reflect on this fact and on the ‘option for the poor’, which is so central to Catholic teaching.

Where do we hear the voices of the poor and marginalized today, the victims of global economic forces that can inflict terrible suffering? Can we accept the challenge to spend at least part of our Christmas preparation time considering the plight of those in poverty in the contemporary world?

Are we willing to look more deeply into the plight of the poor, or do we dismiss them by giving a few ‘holiday’ donations and then turning back to our exclusive communities to ‘celebrate’ Christmas?

How can we authentically celebrate Jesus’ birth by listening to and welcoming those outside of our usual communities? How can we grow in understanding about the structures that must be TRANSFORMED, as Catholic teaching declares, to bring justice to those?”

Fr. Bob Hawkins - DECEMBER 9, 2006

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