Mary at Christmas Time
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It is curious that the liturgists chose to make New Years Day, the day of hangovers and guilt and of resolutions that we know were not going to keep a day to honor the Mother of Jesus who hardly is appropriate symbol for how many people may feel this day. However, the first day of a new year is a day of new beginnings and Mary represents the perennial new beginning. For one she brought her son into the world, there was the most dramatic new beginning, the most dramatic revolution in human history. The human condition was changed forever. We could breathe easier again. There were grounds for hope. Despite all the things that can go wrong in human life, we began to believe that love was stronger than hatred, good stronger than evil, life stronger than death. So we can accept that we have gone through another frustrating, disappointing, perhaps unhappy year of our life and that this new year might be the year our death notices could appear in the papers and that through Mary and her son and because of Mary and her son we will continue to live and continue to hope.
read the padre
a time, or so the story goes, Father Junipero Serra was traveling across the Arizona
Desert on his way to California. It snows in Arizona, sometimes there are even snow
blizzards. Father Serra was tired and sick and the desert seemed endless. He had lost all
track of time and given up all hope of ever making it to the missions, or even of living.
On one particular night this terrible snow storm rolled down over the desert, wiped out
the trail, and left Father Serra and his mule wandering aimlessly in the cruel and cold
darkness. Then, quite by accident they stumbled on a little hut. They pushed their way
through the door, and found straw for the mule and cold soup for the the priest. There was
even a small fire place with some soldering coals and some wood. Father Serra built a
little fire and he and the mule warmed themselves. Then there came a knock on the door.
They tried to ignore it. They were warm and sleepy and they were afraid that it was only
the wind. But the knocking continued and Father Serra though he heard a cry that was more
than just the wind, the mules ears picked up. He thought there was someone there.
Andrew M. Greeley © 1995-'06
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