IN Doll and a White Rose, attributed to VA Baily, the father of the family in the story states, “as I gathered with my family in front of an overblown meal, which none of us could finish, holding expensive gifts we didn’t need, and drinking more alcohol than was necessary, I thought, ‘we’ve lost the plot with Christmas’.”
Last weekend we entered into the time of Advent.
Advent is a four-week vigil, a growing sense of joy for Christians as people prepare to celebrate what God had done for us through Jesus Christ.
The joy of knowing God is part of our humanity – and there is no need to fear – even the power of death itself.
Pope Francis teaches: “The Christmas message is called the ‘Gospel’, that is ‘the good news’, and it is announcement of joy for all people; the church is not a refuge for sad people, the Church is a house of joy”.
He goes on to say if we refuse to share the joy of this ‘good news’ with others in the way we look and act, our hearts grow old and wrinkled. Our faces will transmit nostalgia and melancholy. The joy Francis is referring to our beginning in birth, and in knowing where we have come from, why we are here, and where we are going.
The father of the family that I have mentioned above left the ‘Christmas table’, went to his desk and placing pen to paper did something he’d never been able to do before.
He told the members of his family: “I want you to know I love you.”
St Mary’s Church
Richard Leonard, SJ.,
What Are We Waiting for?