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Catholic Homilies

December 28th 2008

Holy Family Sunday
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Background:

  One might almost want to accuse Jesus of violating “family values” in today’s gospel story. He is surely acting in with some lack of consideration for his parents. Perhaps the origins of the story are in an attempt – always strong in the Gospels if underplayed by some contemporary Christians  -- to emphasize the humanity of Jesus. In any case we have here one more story that indicates how ordinary and human the Holy Family seemed to be. In the so-called “hidden years” Jesus stayed well hidden. It’s not altogether clear what “family values” means today. It does not seem to preclude adultery or divorce because of its most vigorous proponents are publicly guilty of both – and show no remorse. All it seems to stand for is punitive attitudes towards gays and opposition to feminism. In any case authentic family values would emphasize respect for the dignity of all members of the family regardless age or gender. That comes hard for some kinds of people, especially men.

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00spc.gif (820 bytes) Story:

  Once upon a time there was a family which decided that it wanted to go away for Christmas to some place warm – the family lived in one of the snow belts. Actually it was only the mother who wanted to go. The kids objected because they wanted to spend Christmas with the friends. The father objected because he liked to shovel snow with his power-driven snow plow. The dogs didn’t get to vote because they wouldn’t go to a warmer climate anyway but to a kennel (where they would make themselves right at home with the other Christmas orphan dogs). Anyway the mother wanted to go away more than the others didn’t so she won the argument, though neither side was completely gracious. WELL, they left in plenty of time for the airport, but got caught in a traffic jam and missed their plane by five minutes. They had to sleep at the airport and catch a plane the next morning. Unfortunately the morning plane was cancelled and they had to wait stand-by for the afternoon flight on which they all got on (though spread out all over the cabin) at the last minute. The plane was late in landing at the warm place, because of thunder storms and high winds. They got to their hotel to find that their reservations had been cancelled because they had not show up in time. They were put in another hotel with a skimpy and unheated pool, but that didn’t matter because the weather was so bad that swimming was impossible. They played Jeopardy in the lobby of the hotel. Only on the last day of their Christmas vacation did the weather warm up and golf and tennis became possible. The mother felt terrible, but the others said they didn’t mind because it had been a fun trip anyway.

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December Homilies:  7th | 14th | 21st | 28th
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They were put in another hotel with a skimpy and unheated pool, but that didn’t matter because the weather was so bad that swimming was impossible. They played Jeopardy in the lobby of the hotel. Only on the last day of their Christmas vacation did the weather warm up and golf and tennis became possible. The mother felt terrible, but the others said they didn’t mind because it had been a fun trip anyway
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