A Christmas letter

By Father John Walsh on December 23, 2013

Christmas reminds us that many people cannot find a room in the Inn.  They are left out in the cold because we failed to invite them into -  not our home because there isn’t room for all of them -  but we could open our hearts to them. S rely there is enough room in our hearts for them.  

It is truly amazing that when those who are out in the cold come out of the cold and into the warmth of our hearts, everyone is speaking the language of love and everyone understands each other. The many colors of their skin form a rainbow to celebrate the end of prejudice and hate. The many cultures become the spice of lives intertwined to appreciate differences. Religions now break down walls that divide one from the other and the bricks become stepping-stones upon which everyone can walk to the other. Unity through diversity lightens up the heart and helps us see  who is present inside the actual people who are poor, in those who are marginalized ,  in the castaways,  in the misfits,  in those persecuted in their quest for justice,  in those who were hungry or thirsty, in those who are not able to find a true friend, in the homeless, in those who are in jail and wrongly accused,  in the outcasts,  in those who are wounded and crushed by life, in women who are not recognized as full human beings in those who struggle with their sexual orientation,  in those who are on the brink of suicide, in those who have committed murder and even in in those who have cheated and lied.  

So look around in your heart and you will have find present in each person a human being worthy of dignity and respect and you will be amazed to find that you are present in some small way in each person because together we make up the whole family of man. No one person can ever be judged as not being human. And in every human being there is a spark of God. That spark helps us grow up to become mature. Our job is to fan that little spark into a flame. A flame of love.   

In the experience of a divine presence Matthew and Luke included the birth of Jesus in their Gospels for one reason -  to tell us the Good News is that we can create a rebirth, a new life for all those we have in our hearts. We can bring them back to life, even if it is only for this one moment when we thank God we are like the rest of humanity. We always stand at the precipice of the virginal beginning waiting for something unbelievable to occur, and just in case you missed the Good News Jesus is raised from the dead. Maybe Pope Francis says it best.  “Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.  When all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up.  It is an irresistible force.  Often it seems that God does not exist at all: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty.  Bu it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit.  On razed land life breaks through stubbornly yet invincibly. “

Merry Christmas to you, your family, friends and most especially to all those you let into your heart.


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