Reflection for Sunday, December 27, 2020: Feast of Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist.
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|One Holy Family|"Pray to God that I truly be the brother (and sister) of all." Blessed Charles de Foucauld|God so loved the world. What greater love than to be one with us down to the tight fist of a newborn child. You too entered history helpless and dependent on the care of others. We are first loved through bloody tissue, feedings, soothing words, the warmth of bodies bringing comfort and delight. How did love so embodied produce beings who are tempted by fantastic notions like the self-made man? |In Hebrews, Paul calls faith "the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen" (11:1). Abram hears words in a vision. He pleads for a child and God listens. Simeon and Anna beg God for a glimpse or sign. God responds to the yearning of these righteous elders. In the temple they encounter the child and realize that God's promise is kept.|To modern ears, faith suggests a plunge into darkness. A loss of friction with what is real. We know that words are cheap. Threats and ridicule stream in from all sides. What words do we heed? Whom do we trust? We know that what is holy is not for sale. Faith moves quietly. First we hear "fear not." Like Abram we learn to listen. In the concrete realities of daily life God's spirit is felt. We are not alone. To trust God is no leap into the abyss. In ordinary ways You are already present. When we call, You answer.|In family we learn our worth. Some must search for the family that knows how to love. In being loved we heal, face our demons, and are set free. We uncover the beauty that dwells within imperfection. How we are not measured by our achievements. How each catches the light in her own irreplaceable way. How God finds us in our struggles to be faithful and forgiving.|In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis shows how love moves us into the world, if we let it. In scripture we connect to ancestors like Abraham, whose descendants exceed the starry night. We find our sisters crowded into refugee camps; our brother is chased on his bike and shot like an animal. What is learned in family will expand for those open to the labor of love. We honor family, church, and nation … but love rejects a "culture of walls."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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