December 27, 2015 – A View from the Rectory Window

 

The view from the rectory window has been enlightened at night by an image of the Holy Family. How fitting it is to recall, on this Feast of the Holy Family, the wisdom, energy and heart of Pope Francis as he declared in Philadelphia that family is “the most beautiful thing that God made.”

As you may recall, he went on to tell the story of a child who once asked him (“you know how kids ask difficult questions”) what God did when he existed before the creation of the world. His response, after some thought, was, “before creating the world, God loved! Because God is love.”

Pope Francis went on to eloquently summarize Catholic teaching on creation and the family: God’s love “was so big” that he created the world “to share that love with something outside of himself.” In his view, “the most beautiful thing that God made … was the family.”

After all, he asked, “where did [God] send his son? To a palace? To a city? To a company? No, he sent him to a family! He invites us to consider, “Mary, this young woman. She couldn’t believe it. “How can this be?” And when it was explained to her, she obeyed. Let’s think of Joseph, full of dreams to form a household. He finds himself with this surprise that he doesn’t understand. He       accepts. He obeys. The obedience of love of this woman, Mary, and of this man, Joseph, a family is created into which comes God.”

On this Feast of the Holy Family, I write to thank you today for your constant goodness to our parish family “into which comes God” in gestures great and small.

Our Holy Father went on to say that “happiness, like holiness is always tied to little gestures.  These little gestures are those we learn at home, in the family; they get lost amid all the other things we do, yet they do make each day different.  They are the quiet things done by mothers and grandmothers, by fathers and grandfathers, by children.  They are little signs of tenderness, affection and  compassion.  Like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early breakfast awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work.  Homey gestures.  Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work.  Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home.  Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love.”

While, at times, your goodness and generosity may appear to go unnoticed because they can be lost amid all the other things you do and because your expressions of love are often so gently and humbly shared, I do not want your generosity to be considered as unnoticed by me. I am grateful for this chance to thank you for this and for all your goodness to so many.

Fr. Pete