Christmas is Love – Christmas is Family – Christmas is Sharing – Christmas is Transformation
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016
Dear Vincentian Family on our 12th day of Christmas, remember the 12 articles of the Apostle’s Creed and pray always. Pray for the homeless, those lost and in poverty and especially for peace. Let peace always begin with us. Take the time to pray for our clergy, religious and seminarians. Pray for our youth and Pope Francis who is the most wonderful role model. Today, in Canada we celebrate the Epiphany. If you are orthodox you will celebrate tomorrow. Feel the love whatever day you celebrate and share the love. Blessings, Lynn
Christmas is Love – We are still in the Christmas Season. This is the 12th day of Christmas and tomorrow is the Epiphany. In some rites of the Church tomorrow is the 12th day, however in the RC church in Canada it falls on the eve of the epiphany. Our tree will stay up until the Epiphany. It is a big day for my husband’s family. The miracle of Christmas is love. We see so many people changing and showing kindness to others. This year with the refugee families we had so many opportunities to feel and see the miracles of love. Many businesses who usually do not give were giving abundantly. The waiters and waitresses in my son’s restaurant gave their tips to Society of Saint Vincent de Paul to help families (mostly refugee and immigrant families). He then topped up the donations to $10,000.00. The staff really wanted to do this; they felt the miracle of Christmas by doing so. Oh, I know there were still the grumpies, but the majority of people gave what they could with pure joy. We on the Christmas committee got so many accolades and we turned them over to God. One refugee family stated they could not believe the generosity of Canadians and were so happy to be here and feel peace and not fear. We thank you Lord for letting your light shine down and giving us the Christmas miracle of love.
Christmas is Family – All love pales when we see the love our parents give to us. The love never ends. We do not always recognize it, especially in our younger years. We grumble about cleaning our room and keeping curfews, but we do not see it as love until we are older. The love does not end, even after death. We live their example and teachings. Our parents even loved us during our rebellious years. The love just did not quit. Our parents gave us enough space to make mistakes; they give us the space and wrap us with a blanket of love that covers us in those times. Even the miracle of the love of parents pales in comparison to the love of God. He, who is divine, became a child in the flesh, lived His life to teach us and giving us love to share with others. He was tortured out of love for us, even though He did no wrong. He became human to give us His light for others and to teach us about love and family, love for others. He loves us and wraps us in a blanket of love. He is family, the ultimate family and is always with us. He is the reason for the season.
Christmas is Sharing – The real miracle of Christmas is not about the gifts we receive, or the parties, food and festivities. The real miracle is love, the love we share with others. God shared this with us first, He created this love in us that continues to sustain us. This love will complete us in the end. The love calls us as Vincentians to share. We share our time, our gifts and our possessions, but most of all the love given to us by Jesus. It is the love we share. We generally thrive on this love God has given to us through our parents, our priest, our parish family and our Vincentian family. We learned this love from others, but truly embrace the love of our Lord as real and constant. We are truly covered in love that is shared for us by others. I’ll admit, we have our difficulties, but as bad as we think things are for us, we are in better shape than many others. Some of our friends in poverty did not receive the blanket of love. They have made mistakes and need us to share the love with them. They have lost their hope and this is what we bring to them through Christ our Lord. We are giving back and this is why we see Jesus in every face we serve.
Christmas is Transformation – Our role is not only to transform those we serve as we journey with them, but to transform our lives with the love we give and receive. Keep the Christmas love going all year. It is a time to forgive, transforming ourselves. We don’t always need to have the last word. Work on making ourselves a treasure of God, giving to others. We must live the miracle of Christmas each day to transform. Take the time to talk to a homeless person. We can sometimes learn and see their pain. Maybe we can’t help them the first time, but we can plant a seed that with love and prayer will grow. Sometimes they just want to be heard. We are the willing ears and by listening and not judging we bring them Christmas love all year long. There is more to them than the unkempt clothing and dirt surrounding them. They are God’s creation who has lost dignity and hope. Give them the pure and real Christmas miracle of love and an opportunity to transform.
We are truly blessed to have our Vincentian Family. Famvin site teaches us so much and we have the opportunity to meet others who are doing such amazing work. Thank you Lord for our Vincentian family.