Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, December 23, 2011

Feast of Saint John Kanty

Good morning. “What, then, will this child be?” This question from today’s Gospel prompted by the miraculous events surrounding the circumcision of the infant child of Elizabeth and Zechariah is one which every parent ponders at the birth of a child. All present at the event, all the relatives, friends and neighbors wondered aloud “Surely the hand of the Lord is with this child.” Given the vantage we have, we know that to be true. In a couple of days we will travel to a small village about 4 miles south of Jerusalem, to the Town of David called Bethlehem to a cave being used as a stable to house oxen and sheep, and there we will find a child lying in a manger. The child’s parents, already weary from having just completed a journey of just over 101 miles from a town in the north called Nazareth, will surely wonder “What, then, will this child be?” It is quite a natural question for parents to think of when they hold a newborn child in their arms for the first time, what alone the Child of God. The parents are surely troubled and anxious as they are aware that “the hand of the Lord is with this child” in a very special way. Given the vantage we have, we know that to be true. Yet, despite our vantage we sometimes fail to see that with our own children. As parents we must remember that the hand of the Lord is with each and every child, from the moment of conception. God has a plan for every child, for our children. We sometimes fail to see that. There are designs from before they are even in our arms for each and every child to do something spectacular with their lives. God is with them. And as parents we have the awesome responsibility to make that spectacular happen. And we make it happen with love. But imagine if you will the young couple cuddled together in that cave in Bethlehem pondering what lies ahead for them as the parents of their child. Imagine—God became man. Imagine—love became one with us. That is the miracle of Christmas, God became in that small desolate village in the hill country of Bethlehem like us in all ways but our sinfulness. He became part of our lives, not just for a brief moment in history some two-thousand years ago, but now, here and now He is among us. He is among us in the person of our spouse and in the person of our children and in every person we meet. In each moment we exchange with another we have the opportunity to make that love that became one with us long ago in the Town of David to come alive once again. The life of Saint John Kanty, our Saint for today, shows us the way to Bethlehem and the love that became one with us. A story is told that once when John Kanty was having his dinner, a beggar came to the door. He got up from the table carried all his food out to the man and when Saint John Kanty returned to his seat he found his plate miraculously full again. In a couple of days we will celebrate that love becoming one with us. But Christmas is not but just a day on the calendar. It is more than one day a year, it can be every day, and it can be shared with everyone we meet. Christmas can be in every moment of every day. What, then, will this moment be? Make a great day! Merry Christmas!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint John Kanty. "Fight all false opinions, but let your weapons be patience, sweetness and love. Roughness is bad for your own soul and spoils the best cause." ~ Saint John Kanty

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