I am writing this letter on December 6th because of an early
holiday deadline from our bulletin publisher, so it is too early for an exact count, but I can report that just the scrip card part of our Gift Sunday collection is well over $4,000. And that is to say nothing of all of the gifts! I think back to the pile of cards for the homebound that was in front of the church on November 28th and I know that a lot will come in for Food Sunday. PACT: Pius Parishioners Always Come Through. Thank you and may God bless you for your generosity.
As I reflected on our readings for this weekend, I was struck by how God seems to rely on the small and unimportant to get His work done. First, we have the prophet “Micah,” who is called one of the “minor” prophets. Then we are told that the important person will come from Bethlehem, “too small to be among the clans of Judah.” Our Gospel focuses on two women, who were of little or no importance in that culture. Each of these women will bear a child who will have a big impact on the world. Joseph was a nobody carpenter. Zachariah was probably the most influential in our cast of characters, but even he was only a minor priest among thousands of others.
Why is it that the small and unimportant take center stage in the coming of Christ into the world? Could it be because they are not full of themselves and their own personal ambitions, leaving room for them to be able to discern what God wants? Maybe they were humble enough to know that what they wanted or what was most comfortable for them was not the most important thing?
Mary was able to say “thy will be done.” Joseph was able to discern that it was God’s will for him to accept Mary. Twice in our reading from Hebrews we are told that Christ came “to do your will, O God.”
The bottom line is that God wants His Kingdom to break into this world and, to the extent that we discern and do His will, we will cooperate in making that happen. And that is what being a CHRISTian, is all about: discerning and fulfilling God’s will.
Although I can’t tell you what God’s will is in every circumstance, I do know that we have been given a clear guide: show our love of God through love of neighbor. When I am able to act in a loving, compassionate, forgiving, or generous way, I am bringing Christ into the world. And that is clearly God’s will!
In this last week of preparation to celebrate Christ’s birth, let us thank God for choosing us, unimportant and lowly, for the awesome task of bringing Christ to the world. May we respond as did Mary and Joseph!
Church sign of the week: Just because you are offended doesn’t mean that you are right.