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The Coming Of The Messiah

Anne Sullivan with Helen Keller,
Circa 1888 via Wikipedia

One day, the Keller family celebrated the birth of a baby girl, Helen.  Their joy turned into dismay when their child was found to be deaf and blind.  Unfortunately the parents’ desires to give Helen all her wishes turned the girl into a rebellious, undisciplined creature.  Nursemaids came and went, some staying only a day or two.  No one could stand her behavior.

Then, one day Helen Keller’s Messiah appeared in the person of a young, strong-willed Irish girl, Annie Sullivan.  Alleluia!  She refused to allow Helen to have her way.  Despite the parents’ protests, Annie sometimes treated young ten year old Helen roughly.  Gradually, the girl quieted down.

The young Messiah taught Helen a new way of communication through the use of the girl’s hands and fingers.  Annie took the girl out of the prison of her handicaps and acquainted her with the outside world.  In time, Helen blossomed into an awesome, intelligent woman, giving lectures throughout the world.  Historians place her among one of the outstanding women of the 20th Century.

At this Advent time, we look forward to the coming of our Messiah, our Savior: the Infant Child of Bethlehem.  The more we beg this Messiah to enter our lives at this Christmas, 2018, the more quickly we will throw off our handicaps.  In a real sense, we suffer from blindness and deafness.  In a few weeks the Holy Child comes to open our eyes, clear our ears and give us the power to speak of His Love and Praises!  “Come Lord Jesus”, we pray.

Some will say, “Christ is already here”.  True, but He comes in a special way this Christmas, different from all past Christmases because our needs are different now.  Out of love, the Child of Bethlehem wants to save us from a mediocre way of living.  Perhaps like the little child Helen, we have been lashing out at life, sad, dismayed at our personal weaknesses, facing life with a chip on our shoulder.  Tragically, the true meaning of life has escaped us, to be a loving, gracious and unselfish person.

We need only welcome the Holy Infant into our hearts, purified of sin.  In turn, the Savior will work miracles in our life much as Annie Sullivan did for Helen Keller.  Do we believe this?  How sad if we say, “Ho-hum, just another holiday, another routine Christmas.”  Take time to celebrate the reason for the season.   “Come, Lord Jesus!”  Come our Miracle Worker!

          Fr. George McKenna

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 3 Comments

Be A Light To Darkened Hearts

Loneliness by Hans Thoma (1839-1924)
Via Wikipedia

I recall an interview I heard on the radio many years ago. Fr. Francis R. Duffy C.S.SP, a professor from Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was interviewing a 7 year old boy who had been in trouble with the police for doing many destructive things during his young life. Fr. Duffy asked the boy, “What is the first thing you wish?” The boy replied, “I want to be loved.” Fr. Duffy replied that not to be loved makes one feel cold. The commentator came on at that point and replied, “We don’t get rid of juvenile delinquency by lighting up dark streets, but by lighting up dark hearts!”

The little boy spoke in a hesitating way as he tried to express his feelings . . . “many times I feel cold, then I get nervous, and then I do bad things.” If one would look into delinquency, juvenile or adult, I would think you would find the cause to be lack of love. We all need to be loved. How fewer problems would children and adults have if they knew they were loved and wanted.

Christ comes as the Light of the World to bring the warmth of His Love. He wants to take away that feeling of coldness which makes us so insecure and afraid of life. During this Advent, a good prayer is “Come, Lord Jesus.” A close priest friend of mine who knew Scripture well, spoke these words as his last . . . he died an early death, and at his last, he sat up in bed and shouted, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Without Christ this world becomes a chilling place. When we put our hopes and dreams on possessions or money, we are left empty and cold. Money can’t buy you happiness, a sense of purpose or worth. It can’t buy you true love or true friends. You can’t buy the ability to enjoy simple things – a summer day, a flower in bloom. Money will buy you things – it won’t buy you true gratitude.

This Christmas, Christ won’t be physically born again. But he comes once again into our hearts, our homes, and our community. How greatly we need His Presence. We have to know that Our God loves us . . . how well this is shown by the birth of the Child at Bethlehem.

This Advent we must put an effort into thinking of Christ, and believe that this Christmas will be different from all the Christmases of the past. Let us prepare our hearts for the arrival of the Child of Bethlehem. Plan how you will spend the next four weeks. Pray each day. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and perform penance. Go to Mass one extra time during the week. Smile at that “difficult” person at work and wish him a good day. Respond to an angry person with compassion and understanding. Let the person behind you at the grocery store go before you.  

Each day we can find individuals who are struggling with insecurity, loneliness, resentment, anger, and a lack of love. Christ fills our life with Love! Take this time of year, to share that Love with others and make a difference. Be a light to their darkened hearts.

         Fr. George McKenna

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 6 Comments