Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas: Gift... and Responsibility

As 2009 enters the books as the year of B16's "social encyclical" -- and given today's announcement that the pontiff will highlight the poor's plight in a unique way over the Octave -- it's worth recalling one very special Yuletide classic (candidly, a house favorite), which sees its 25th anniversary this Christmas:

For its part, Vatican Radio's English program is spending this week highlighting different hardships folks are facing this season, giving today's focus to a British agency serving the lonelier homeless.

Tempting as it might be to forget amid the blessings we've got, gang, just outside our windows finds a "world of dread and fear" more than we might often like to admit.

Most of us don't have to go very far to find friends and neighbors quietly yearning to be fed -- not always in the material sense, and even more often with a renewed shot of hope, of comfort, of presence and encouragement: in a word, as it was once wisely put, with the joy and dignity that comes with knowing someone out there thinks "it is good that you exist."

The light of these blessed days can only shine brighter when it's given along, and God knows there are as many ways of doing that as there are the number of us... and so, as taking up the task isn't really an option, enough with the talking, church -- time's short, so let's get to it.