St. Patrick's Online Bulletin
Our Journey to Christmas12-16-2018Rev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden
One of the blessings we have in twenty-first century America is the ability to get from one place to another quickly and safely. Sometimes when I drive to my brother’s house in Greenport, I think about the people who first inhabited Long Island and how long that trip would have taken. A distance I can travel in a little more than an hour would have taken all day or a couple of days. The pioneers traveled across our country in covered wagons and it took months to go from Missouri to the West Coast. Today we can fly across our nation in a matter of five or six hours. The Gospel last Sunday had this quote from Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The journey Isaiah was speaking about was not a physical one, but a spiritual one. Advent is our time to journey to Christmas. We spend a lot of time and energy shopping, decorating, sending cards, wrapping, and gathering. But all of this activity points to something else. And it is really not something else it points to, but someone else - God Himself coming into our world in the person of Jesus Christ. When I pray the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary I am amazed and overwhelmed at the humility and love of God in Jesus. Sometimes I kneel before a statue of Joseph leading a donkey on which Mary is riding with the child Jesus in her arms. Jesus, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God, is present as an infant in Mary’s loving arms. What was going through the mind of Mary and Joseph? Here they are trusting in God, fleeing from Herod who is seeking to kill the child Jesus. How can God put Himself in such a vulnerable and powerless position? Why would God do this in the first place? There is only one conclusion - He loves us more than we can ever imagine or comprehend. We are overwhelmed with gifts from those we love at Christmas and we bring the same joy to those we bring gifts to. How overwhelming it is to even begin to think of how hopeful, loving, and trusting Jesus was. That is the core and essence of Christmas.READ MORE
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