From the desk of Fr. Speier
I hope each of you had a blessed Christmas. I am sure that for many of you it was different than in past years. Yet we still celebrated the birth of the Savior once again realizing the importance of this great event. The birth of the Savior is the beginning of our salvation story.
As we move forward this weekend we do so remembering the Holy Family. The Holy Family is of course, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. As we think about these three we might forget that even though they were different from the rest of us they were not spared the difficulties of life.
The story of the Nativity was celebrated for us once again. Through the ages the stories of the Nativity take on a life of its own. Often times we do not see the hardships that Mary and Joseph experienced.
I wonder if the actual manger was like the ones we see in our churches, town squares and other locations. I do not believe it was. Mary and Joseph were just another couple on the road looking for a place to stay.
Jesus is lost in the temple teaching the elders about himself. Mary and Joseph are as concerned as any parents would be who lose a child. From that time on we can only gather that their lives resembled the others of their time.
Somewhere in their history Joseph passes away and Mary and Jesus are left by themselves. When Jesus reaches the age of 30 or so he leaves home and begins his public ministry. We will never know what Mary felt as she witnessed the reaction that her son was getting from some of those that followed him.
Seeing her son laughed at, made fun of, beaten and then put on the cross must have torn her apart. Yet there was something to this family that is hard to see and not well respected in today’s society. The something that we miss is the strong faith they had as the family moved forward in salvation history.
It was never said that the Holy Family would have an easy time. That would have been counterproductive to their purpose which was to give the world a lesson on faith.
Jesus was God and he knew what he would experience as God and man. Mary and Joseph trusted the presence of God in their midst. Saying yes to God was not easy nor did they fully understand why they were chosen for their roles in salvation history. They trusted that God’s promise to them would be fulfilled. Faith guided them.
Families today are not always guided by faith. Unfortunately they follow the ways of the world rather than the ways of the Lord. No family is perfect but do we trust enough, do we pray enough, can we see past the ways of the world and see God in our lives.
The lesson of the Holy Family is that trusting in God will bring us through the most difficult times in life and see the hand of God in all we do.
This Friday we will celebrate January 1, 2021 the beginning of a New Year. On this day the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of the Savior. Usually, this date is a Holy Day of Obligation but not this year. All Catholics are absolved from attending mass this Friday. Mass will still be said at 9:00am at St. Catherine of Siena. All are welcome to attend.
I think our prayer for the beginning of this year is very simple: health and healing for our country. The year 2020 was a difficult year for all. The pandemic almost stopped normal life in its tracks. Many lost their lives to the virus and many are still suffering the medical results of the virus. May the Lord to kind and gracious to us this New Year