Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fourth Sunday of Advent

For just a few nights all four candles will be lighted and then it will be Christmas. Some people place a plain white pillar candle in the center of the Advent wreath on Christmas to signify Christ. My family has never done that, but I think it would be a nice thing to do.

Today I had a delightful Christmas visit from one of my dearest friends whom I wish that I could see more often. And then a leisurely and fun tea with my friend who will all too soon return to sea.

It was minus one today in Toledo, my hometown. I think of returning there to grow old among family. It is tempting especially on days when things break down and need to be repaired. Less so when I see that weather forecast and hear that the wind is blowing on the ice-laden power lines. I pray and hope that they will be safe.

It is time to pray for safety for travelers too, for all the friends and family members who are going out into this cold winter and flying to be with others. In a way, since Christmas began with the journey to Bethlehem, perhaps it isn't so strange that so many travel so far at this coldest, darkest part of the year. I am happy to be staying home!

I was looking for material about St. Joseph earlier in the day and was reminded that we think a good deal about Mary's yes, her Magnificat, but that we do not give the same credit to Joseph. If he had not said yes, he would honor his proposal, who would have cared for the child who grew up to become the Savior of Humankind? Indeed, fathers are so important and do not recieve the honor they deserve in our culture. Let us honor them this Christmas.

Still, I suspect that had they had the choice to stay home and not travel, the Holy Family would have been glad to have the baby born in their hometown and not in a stable. Much food for thought on a cold winter night.

I am grateful for the friends for stopping by and for my life this fourth Sunday of Advent.

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