As we come to the end of this year, I want to wish you a Happy New Year 2020!
The last Sunday of this year is dedicated to the Holy Family. The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church (Lumen Gentium) says, “The Family is… the domestic church” (11). The Christian household is the most basic visible expression of the church and a fundamental place where we foster unity with Christ and with one another. Just a few days ago we heard St. Luke describe the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. Although the manger may not have been the Ritz, we imagined a scene described in the song: Silent night, Holy night. The silence of that night was broken only by the angels praising God and announcing peace to God’s people on earth. Now we hear Matthew’s gospel. The peace and quiet are gone. The paranoid king, Herod the Great, is intent on destroying the child Jesus and the Holy Family have to escape by leaving their own homeland and becoming refugees in neighboring Egypt. It’s like a splash of cold water in the face, but this splash is really a splash of cold reality, reminding us that no family, not even the holiest has a stress free existence. It also reminds us of the universal conflict and tension between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, grace and sin. The forces of evil lined up against Jesus right from the beginning. Matthew’s story also reminds us that although our decision to follow Jesus takes us along a road that leads to eternal happiness, that road is not always paved or smooth.
Estamos al final de este año 2019 y nos preparamos para recibir el nuevo año con gusto y esperanza. Espero y este 2020 traiga muchas bendiciones para todos ustedes. ¡Así que Feliz Año Nuevo! Este último domingo del año recordamos a la Sagrada Familia. Los documentos de la Iglesia nos hablan de la familia como la iglesia doméstica. Cada familia es la imagen visible de la iglesia y el lugar donde se aprenden buenos valores y se promueve la unidad y la paz. Dejemos que la Sagrada Familia de Jesús, María y José habiten en nuestros hogares este año nuevo que estamos por comenzar.
Fr. Alex Urena