Christmas has come around again, quickly, and we have to look at what is central to this feast and try to keep our balance in the midst of all that is taking place around us. We have to get close to the basics of the season and stay there rather than be pushed and tugged by the forces of commerce, consumerism and mass communication. So we again look at the scriptures and the truths of our faith.
I am happy to extend a warm welcome to our newest staff member Maria Magdalena
She comes to us from the parish itself where she grew up, went to school and where she was involved in our Youth Ministry program. She studied at Santa Clara University from where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish, French and Italian, and a minor in Catholic Studies.
The Federal Government throws around these huge figures that are hard to imagine for ordinary people and, maybe, even for lawmakers in the House and Senate. We know that many lawmakers are already wealthy, and that many are multimillionaires, so they do have personal experience of wealth that we do not have. But how can they imagine trillions and billions? How can they grasp these figures and how can they appreciate what a billion dollars, one way or the other, can do to countless people whom they are charged to represent? If a billion dollars are cut from Medicaid or Medicare how many poor people will lose their health insurance and other necessary income? How many jobs for unemployed youth can be created with a billion dollars? Where is the accountability when a billion dollars is wasted in a foreign country?
In the last two bulletins I shared with you a structure that helps us organize the 60 plus ministries of the parish. I told you that these ministries can be grouped into five areas, each headed by a Commission: Administration, Community, Faith Formation, Worship and Outreach. I showed you how they related to the Parish Pastoral Council, the Pastor, and the Staff.
What we know is that we have been shaken and continue to be pushed out of our comfort zone by the series of natural disasters that have shook Houston/ Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mexico in Chiapas and Mexico City. We have forest fires in California. As well as those disasters we have the mass hooting and killing of innocent people in Las Vegas. We have the ongoing worry about what can happen in the standoff between North Korea and the United States. We have the debate about the national anthem, respect for the flag and athletes taking the knee following Colin Kaepernick. What are we to do? What are we to think? How do we make sense of all of this?
In terms of natural disasters we can say that they are beyond us, that that is the way our world and universe works; we will have hurricanes, storms, and earthquakes and they will come in those places where they have always come. People say that they are more severe now because of climate change. We will surely receive more information and studies that will confirm this.