By: Father James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
A teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and my face would turn red.” All the students nodded their heads in agreement.
The teacher continued, “Then why is it that while I am standing upriight in the ordinary position, the blood doesn’t un into my feet?” A little fellow shouted, “Cause your feet ain’t empty!”
This is a week of celebrations. First, we celebrate the feast of Holy Innocents. And Friday we celebrate the feast of Holy Innocents. And Friday we celebrate New Year’s Day. It’s all about children, family, parents and new beginnings.
After a snow storm in Minnesota, Susan was outside shoveling her driveway. She stopped to wave hello to her neighbor. The neighbor asked her why her husband wasn’t out there helping her with the shoveling.
She explained that one of them had to stay inside to take care of the children. So they drew straws to see who would go out and shovel. “Sorry about your bad luck,” the neighber said. Susan said, “Oh, no! Don’t be sorry. I won”
Robin Landermann writes about her experience of being a parent: One sunny afternoon she decided to visit the Charlestown Navy Yard. A replica of a Viking ship was docked for the day. So, she hurried to get her four year old son, Sam, ready for the trip to the Navy Yard. She had exactly 45 minutes to get there before the Yard closed. If all went well, she would make it just in time.
All did not go well. Traffic was unbearable. There they sat in a log jam. Stop and go! Stop and go! Soon it became apparent that they would never arrive in time. So, she broke the news to Sam. “Sam,” she said, “I am afraid that the Yard will be closed by the time we get there.”
The mother braced herself for tears and crying. Instead, Sam simply gazed out the window. He thought for a minute, then said, “I guess it doesn’t matter when we drive the other way, Mom, because home never closes.”
What a beautiful response. Home never closes. Home is always open. Today is the feast of the Holy Family. We honor Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Their Bethlehem home was open to the shepherds and Wise Men. The Holy Family’s home never closes.
Soon in your hands will be placed a priceless gift. Look at it closely. There is no price tag on it. It cannot be weighed because there’s no scale that can balance its value.
The gift is a jewel. It is rare and unique. It cannot be purchased nor sold. Undoubtedly, it is a gift that far surpasses any gift you have ever received.
This gift has been offered many times before. Thousands of people have received this gift. Wthin a few days it will be offered again to millions people.
It is the gift of the New Year. A precious gift indeed. For God has given us another year of life. With God’s graces, we’ll wisely use this gift.
There are many New Year’s wishes…such as: may you get a clean bill of health, from your dentist, your cardiologist, your gastroenterologist, your urologist, your proctologist, your podiatrist, your psychiatrist, your plumber, and the IRS.
Clowns have a delightful prayer: “Lord, as I stumble through this life, help me create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me grow so big that I fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child, or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.
Never let me forget that I am a clown, that my work is to cheer people up, make them happy, make them laugh, and make them forget momentarily all the unpleasant things in their lives. Never let me acquire financial success to the point where I will fail to call upon my Creator in the hour of need, or thank him in the hour of plenty.
And in my final moment, O Lord, may I hear you whisper in my ear: “When you made MY people smile, you made ME smile.”
Happy New Year!!! With God’s graces we can make 2016 a year of smiles.
Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.