Christmas was a Riot
It couldn’t have been more prophetic now could it?
On the Saturday of the Third Week of Advent, December 22, 2018 the gospel reading of the day is LUKE 1:46-56.
My Soul Proclaims!
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
He has looked upon his lowly servant (and by extension all his lowly servants).
He has mercy.
In what ways does he have mercy?
He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.
I took a quick trip to Haiti to support a friend and serve the Funeral Mass for his Mother.
Nearly everyone would grieve the loss of one’s mother. For a priest it can often be exceptionally painful. As described to another prior to leaving:
For a priest and their life of celibacy the loss of a mother has two distinct characteristics. The last bit of the femininity of G-d and natural maternal relationship has now passed. It becomes a very lonely time and one of the greatest affronts to their faith. While none should stereotype this is the case for my friend. I go for our friendship. I go because I know her and love her too. I go because his faith needs me.
Luke Proclaims Liberation which requires the Struggle with Evils
Evil does not sit quietly as the proclamation of righteousness is made. Evil pride fights back. The mighty use their power to oppress. The rich continue to fill their stores without pause.
Evil resists the Gospel. We should resist evil.
On the evening of December 21st the well respected radio station Radio Kiskeya burned down. The radio station was respected for its championing of democracy and press freedom in Haiti. It is no more.
None are suggesting that the fire was arson at least not yet. Evil and natural evils abound in the creative space.
Protests and anxiety erupt
Nearly immediately protests – well organized and large – protests began. So ingrained is mistrust that what most likely was a simple fire took on the character of oppression.
And the protests began with large scale blockage of Route 2 – the route we were taking and entered this space as we returned from the funeral.
US Embassy Security Alert 22-12-2018
National Zealots verse zealousness for the Lord
For Men of Goodwill there will always also be the tension between nationalistic zealots and zealousness for the Lord. The Lord reminds us He judges rightly and not necessarily always for the poor in particular when in error of judgment and action. With that caveat noted the Lord is clearly most attuned to the widow, orphan, hungry, weak and dispossessed. Knowing the difference takes wisdom.
Maybe we can renew our Christian ardor by proclaiming as Mary did and acting as Mary acted.
Given the Message – She Went
After learning of her cousin Elizabeth being pregnant in her old age, Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. She tended to Elizabeth in her time of need.
Given the Need – She Remained
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.
Haiti is improving I believe. I saw lots of new construction and many at work. Roads are improving if at too slow a pace that suppresses development they are still improving. Good does not happen merely spontaneously – or only spontaneously. It is the action of Men of Goodwill (Humans of Goodwill) moved by the Holy One to get up and go!
The Christ has come – and continues to come!
And the infant in me leaps for joy!!
A private trip goes public
My trip was intended to be private. Support between brothers and the immense weight of grief. But the fact is yesterday we celebrated the martyrdom of Saint Stephen and tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs. Evil does not give up easily. Innocence is the victim. Indifference is the fuel.
Let us all resolve to make 2019 the year of difference. Proclaim the goodness of the Lord! Do it in your actions. Live it in your politics.