Write In Between

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to all Catholics in Boston!

The Archdiocese of Boston is celebrating its Bicentennial!

Let us pray for our Church and for all our local churches!

I was encouraged by the homily from Cardinal Sean via the Internet from the opening Mass for this year of celebration. I invite you take the time to listen to it... to learn of the early history of the establishment of the Church in Boston, as well as where we are today.

It is a message of hope and renewal.

If you are in the Boston Archdiocese, (and even if you are not,) think about lighting a candle in your window this Advent as a sign that all are welcome in our home during this cold season... most especially Christ. And while you do, keep these remarks from the Cardinal in mind...

For the Irish, the most powerful Christmas symbol has been the candle, placed in the window. It was lit by the youngest member of the family and could be extinguished only by someone named Mary. I don’t have to tell you that there’s no shortage of Irish girls named Mary. The candle in the window in an Irish home had two meanings. It was a sign of welcome to the Holy Family, of Mary and Joseph looking for a place in the Inn. It was also an invitation during the times of persecution, to a priest to come and celebrate a clandestine Christmas Mass for the family. It was worth risking everything to be able to have the Eucharist.

Today, as we begin our bicentennial celebration, I am here to say that in Boston, the candle is in the window. We want to invite and make welcome our brothers and sisters, especially the alienated. Especially the poor and the newcomers...

Yes, the candle is in the window, because Christmas is Christ’s Mass.

The Eucharist gathers us, as Christ’s family, to be united in the teachings of the Apostles, in fellowship and in prayer, and in the breaking of the bread, sharing what we have so that no one will be hungry. Not materially hungry, not spiritually hungry. The urgency of the Gospel today bids us, “Gather faithfully each week, as a worshiping community.”

The stakes are high; it is a matter of life and death. The branches need the vine. We need to be nourished by Christ’s words and by his sacrament. And we need to be nourished by the presence of the brothers and sisters of the household of the faith, the body of Christ, the Church. My brothers and sisters, as we journey together in Christ, let us put a candle in the window. A candle that says, “Welcome, welcome, welcome.” A candle that says, “The Eucharist is to die for.”

- - -text from the Cardinal's homily found here.

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