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Mary at Christmas Time

Catholic Homilies
January 1st 2006 A.D.

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Mary at Christmas Time

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Background:

  It is curious that the liturgists chose to make New Year’s Day, the day of hangovers and guilt and of resolutions that we know we’re not going to keep a day to honor the Mother of Jesus who hardly is appropriate symbol for how many people may feel this day. However, the first day of a new year is a day of new beginnings and Mary represents the perennial new beginning. For one she brought her son into the world, there was the most dramatic new beginning, the most dramatic revolution in human history. The human condition was changed forever. We could breathe easier again. There were grounds for hope. Despite all the things that can go wrong in human life, we began to believe that love was stronger than hatred, good stronger than evil, life stronger than death. So we can accept that we have gone through another frustrating, disappointing, perhaps unhappy year of our life and that this new year might be the year our death notices could appear in the papers and that through Mary and her son and because of Mary and her son we will continue to live and continue to hope.

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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

  Once upon a time, or so the story goes, Father Junipero Serra was traveling across the Arizona Desert on his way to California. It snows in Arizona, sometimes there are even snow blizzards. Father Serra was tired and sick and the desert seemed endless. He had lost all track of time and given up all hope of ever making it to the missions, or even of living. On one particular night this terrible snow storm rolled down over the desert, wiped out the trail, and left Father Serra and his mule wandering aimlessly in the cruel and cold darkness. Then, quite by accident they stumbled on a little hut. They pushed their way through the door, and found straw for the mule and cold soup for the the priest. There was even a small fire place with some soldering coals and some wood. Father Serra built a little fire and he and the mule warmed themselves. Then there came a knock on the door. They tried to ignore it. They were warm and sleepy and they were afraid that it was only the wind. But the knocking continued and Father Serra though he heard a cry that was more than just the wind, the mules ears picked up. He thought there was someone there. 

  So he pushed open the door, the wind and the snow swept into their little hut, but standing outside were two peons, a man and a woman, and herself pregnant. The man begged that they might come in for just a little while. Father Serra said surely they could, though he wasn’t sure that they would absorb so much of the warmth that everyone would freeze to death. Pretty soon they all fell asleep. The priest and the mule slept soundly. When they awakened the storm had stopped, the peons had vanished, and the warm Arizona sunshine had returned. I was only dreaming that he said to the mule, then he looked more closely and saw that there was a necklace of roses around the Mules neck.

 

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I was only dreaming that he said to the mule, then he looked more closely and saw that there was a neck less of roses around the Mules neck

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