Archive for December 25, 2009

A Christmas Memory by Fr. Robert Bruso

Posted: December 25, 2009 by datechguy in catholic
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This was the message on our Christmas bulletin distributed at mass today and tomorrow. It is reprinted with Fr. Bruso’s permission:

I remember the day I defeated the forces of darkness single handed. It was, as I recall, pretty easy.

I’m not one of those people who can remember everything that happened in my childhood. In fact, in my family I am notorious for getting the facts wrong when we gather to reminisce about the past, but this day I recall vividly, and everyone seems to agree that in this occasion, I got the facts right.

I was in the second grade at Sacred Heart School in Worcester. We were walking up to Vernon Hill from Cambridge Street, the whole gang of us who lived on “The Hill.” It was nearly Christmas and our sense of anticipation was at its height. Santa Claus would be coming soon to make his deliveries to every good little boy and girl, even Billy Spero, who wasn’t Catholic and went to public school. That was OK, my Nana told me, because even if Billy wasn’t Catholic, he went to the Albanian Church and they believed in Jesus, too.

You see we understood that there was an intimate connection between Santa Claus and Jesus. The real Santa Claus was Saint Nicholas, a bishop who loved Jesus and wanted everyone, even the littlest children, to know that Jesus was God’s greatest gift to the human race. If there was no Jesus, there would have been no Santa Claus.

Of course, St. Nicholas’ feast day was December 6 and in some countries in Europe, he brought presents to boys and girls on that day. In some countries, like (in) South America, he brought the presents on January 6. In the United States and in a lot of other countries , he came on Christmas Eve. That made perfect sense to us. He couldn’t be everywhere on the same night. We weren’t stupid.

Which leads me to Jackie Reidy, who thought maybe we were stupid. Jackie was older than I, perhaps in the fifth or sixth grade that year. He thought he knew everything.

We were on Fairfax Road, at the top of Diamond St. Hill. Almost home. A delivery truck was parked in front of a house. ON the side of the truck was a poster of Santa advertising cigarettes. That wasn’t a good thing to be advertising, I know, but it was over fifty years ago and we didn’t know any better then.

Jackie pointed at the picture on the truck and announced to us all:

“You know that there really is no Santa Claus, right?”

There was a stunned silence. I think Mary Lou Murphy, was only in Kindergarten, started to cry.

Someone had to defend the truth. someone had to stand up to this bully. I thought for a minute and then I stepped into the breach:

“Of course there is a Santa Claus,” I said in the full strength of my convictions. “My father doesn’t make that kind of money!”

A sigh of relief washed over the crowd. More than one voice joined in agreeing with me. All of us, from blue collar families, living in three decker tenements on Vernon Hill, knew that there was no extra money in our houses. Most of our fathers worked two jobs just to pay the bills. Yet every Christmas morning, our living room floors were covered with Santa’s bounty. There wasn’t even enough room under the tree for all that he left us. And there was more fudge than even I could eat.

No Santa Claus? What nonsense!

And that was the day I defeated the forces of darkness single handed.

Whenever we deny hope, whenever we shatter dreams, whenever we choose darkness over light, we deny the eternal Hope who is Jesus Christ. All of our traditions at Christmas should point us more clearly to Jesus Christ the Savior. It is His birth we celebrate. He is the greatest gift the world can ever know.

When Santa leaves us presents, he also leaves us hope: our hope in Jesus Christ, our hope for a better world, our hope which no one can take from us.

Merry Christmas! Buon Natale!

The Christmas Post

Posted: December 25, 2009 by datechguy in Uncategorized

Merry Christmas to all.

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.

2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3 So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.

4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,

7 and she gave birth to her firstborn son. 3 She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.

9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.

12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”

16 So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.

18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.

19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.

20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

God bless all here.