This Christmas, I hope you are feeling the deep joy of Jesus’ presence. I also pray that you allow that joy to stay with you for many days!
For me, the place to start is the stable in Bethlehem. St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests imagining yourself as a participant in the story. Taking off my shoes—it’s a holy place—I slip into the corner of the stable. Mary is shivering from the cold, but clutching Jesus close to keep him warm. Joseph is there, attentive to Mary’s every need. This tiny baby, powerless, totally dependent on Mary and Joseph, is also God. God become human—not as an emperor or a scholar—but as a baby. From my corner of the stable, I can only be silent in amazement.
St. Francis of Assisi wanted to experience the poverty and hardship that Mary and Joseph felt that first Christmas. He asked a friend to set up a manger with straw, an ox, and a donkey on the hillside at Greccio. The brothers and townsfolk came with torches to light the night. At the manger, they prayed before the image of the baby. Later, they adored his real, true presence at the Christ-Mass.
Good Will to All
Christmas seems to pass so quickly. Gone for another year is the graced time of family love and togetherness—the spirit of good will. The Church extends the celebration for eight days. But when the poinsettia petals fall, Christmas trees come down and lights are stored away, it seems that Christmas is gone. If only we could hold on to Christmas!
But what part of Christmas can’t we continue to enjoy? Jesus is the heart of Christmas; he stays with us. With him and our faith community, we will share the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, his passion, death, and triumphant resurrection. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8).
Even though Christmas will be over in a couple of days, we can actively gift our loved ones. We continue to celebrate Christ’s presence and action in our world. We can express our Christmas spirit in being gracious to coworkers and to all who assist us. The homeless are still with us. Soup kitchens need our help. Our donations to the refugees from Syria and Iraq honor Mary and Joseph fleeing with their son to Egypt.
Fr. William Eddy, our beloved pastor, passed away on June 6. Apparently he collapsed last night in the rectory office and was found this morning. He will lay in state here at St. Hilary Church on Wednesday, June 11th and Thursday, June 12th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. His funeral mass will be held at St. Hilary on Friday, June 13th at 11:00 a.m.
Fr. Eddy is survived by his two sisters, Judy and Kathy and many loved nieces and nephews. Please keep them and the entire St. Hilary Community in your prayers.
We are eternally grateful for his guidance, wisdom, and love. He will be missed by the entire school and parish community. May he rest in peace.
Julia Tigne is our Catechuman and Bill Bowman is our Candidate in the OCIA program.
They will be fully initiated into the Catholic faith on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil (April 19th)
Please keep them in your prayers.