There is a story about a parish putting on a Christmas pageant. It came to the point where the innkeeper was to say that there was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph to stay. The part of the innkeeper was played by a young man challenged by Down Syndrome. He had only one line to memorize and he had practiced it over and over again with his parents. So the big moment came with Mary and Joseph making their way down the main aisle of the church. They approached , made their request and heard the loud response, “There’s no room at the inn.” So Mary and Joseph turned to travel farther. All of a sudden the young boy boomed out, “You can stay at my house.” Thinking quickly the priest said, “Amen” and the congregation said, “Amen” and the homily was finished as everyone broke into singing “Joy to the World”.
This young boy’s response truly is the miracle of Christmas. Like Mary and Joseph we need to make room for Jesus in our world, in our homes, and in our hearts. We need to invite him in so that he can transform our hearts with His peace and justice. I want to thank this parish community for the many ways we respond to God’s invitation to be a people of justice and peace. As we move forward may we continue our trips to Jamaica, our Mobile Loaves and Fishes outreach, our Giving Tree project, our visits to the homebound, our Christmas Cantata, our education of our young, and the many other ways we seek to evangelize. Let us work and pray together in the new year.
Fr. Bob Hawkins