Tony Gallagher, a founding father of the AUSCP, shares his Christmas message to his extended family, hoping that others will find words of their own from what he has written.
To MY 18 WONDERFUL NIECES, NEPHEWS, SPOUSES AND CHILDREN :
As we celebrate the human presence of God among us, may each of you use your own humanity to reveal to others the presence of God. As you look anew at your family’s crib, Jesus’ nativity scene, may you honestly ask yourself what this birth will say about your current selves. Can you realize that Jesus wants to come to life in and through you? He wants to come where he is the most absent and most needed. Jesus wants to put on human flesh through you, live and love through you.
Talk with others in your family about this. Know that in your personally helping Jesus to be born in your various environments, you will not be alone if you agree to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Again and again, quietly look at your Nativity scene to experience the outstretched hands of God’s love for you. Hopefully you will be astonished by the sheer generosity of being loved and of the daily opportunity of returning that love. I hope that your search for further Christmas meaning does involve passing on that love to others starting with your family but surely also to others, particularly those in any need. In other words, may you give birth to Christ in your own life, celebrating God’s invitation to you to participate in God’s universal and creative work in our evolving cosmos.
In the new year may we be bound together in a stronger web of greater love and compassion. Loving others will be how we become more of ourselves since we will find happiness and completion only outside of ourselves. May the comfort you seek be that of others.
In the new year I hope that you will continually experience that which gives your daily life a deep meaning for you, something worth living for, something worth living for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep on keeping moving ahead. Of course, all this is for you to find, to choose to love. Surely the greatest part of life is when what you have to do is actually what you want to do. The love of God and of others is the thread that will weave your family closer together. We all want to be conscious of the debt we owe to others who prepared the way for us.
And in the new year do avoid silos and tribes. Seek to be your own curators of thinking. Find people who will make you think critically, the ones who question the unquestioned assumptions and current social and economic orthodoxies. Look for persons of great intellectual honesty, people of moral courage and seekers of justice. May you be alert and intentional about how you pray, study, and act for justice and peace.
MERRY CHRISTMAS ! HAPPY, SAFE NEW YEAR !
Hopefully, after this virus situation clears, we can again gather for a big family reunion.
Much love, Uncle Tony
p.s. Aunt Sis and I will be with Uncle Mike on Christmas day.