|From the Minister
Treasurer's Report- 1998
The Holy Family
Paz y Bien from the Infirmarian
SFO International Council Weekly News
Christmas Preparation Prayer
Calendar of Saints/Feast Days: December
More on Family & the Holy Family
|Classes and Meetings
St. Anthony's Corner
Like a Light to the World
In Order to Serve
Preparing for the Jubilee 2000
From the Minister
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“On [Christmas] day Francis wanted the poor and the hungry to be filled by the rich, and more than the usual amount of grain and hay given to the oxen and asses. ‘If I could speak to the emperor, I
would ask that a general law be made that all who can should scatter corn and grain along the roads so thatthe birds might have an abundance of food on the day of such great solemnity, especially our sisters the larks.’ He would recall, not without tears, what great want surrounded the poor Virgin on that day.” (2Cel 200).
We sometimes forget that this “great solemnity” is actually with us always in the form of the Eucharist. This year, let us celebrate it daily in all we do!
Fr. Paul Juniet, OFM- Spiritual Assistant
On Sunday, December 27th, we celebrate the feast of the Holy
Family, a feast very much in line with Christmas. In coming into the world
Jesus came as one of us. He belonged to a human family.
He suffered the growing pains of a baby, youth and teenager. He was one of us in all things but sin. He accepted the Jewish ritual of circumcision. In act as he was teaching, the people questioned: “Isn’t this the son of the carpenter? We know his family.”
We know very little about the life of Jesus in his family. But three elements stand out in the Scriptures.
1. This family was chosen by God and they went forward in faith. Mary answered the call by saying,
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” And during the early days of Jesus’ life at various times she did not understand what was happening but she “reflected on them in her heart.” She walked in faith. Joseph, on hearing the words, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife into your home” in faith joined in marriage with Mary. In faith a year or so later he took his family into Egypt and returned to
Nazareth with them. Jesus in faith at the age of twelve “went down with Mary & Joseph and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them.”
2. Jesus knew the ordinary life of a small Jewish town. He was not out of the ordinary. He worked with his father in the carpenter shop and took care of his mother after Joseph died.
3. Prayer and contemplation were very much part of their lives. Mary
often reflected on the mysteries that were happening at the birth of her
son. Mary & Joseph offered Jesus to the Father in the temple.
Jesus learned from his parents the contemplative way of prayer. Later in
his life he often
went aside for prayer and contemplation.
With the foundation of the Holy Family each one of us is called
to strengthen our own family bonds. Life with God cannot be lived on an
out of this world level. It must be lived in our ordinary human pursuits.
God touches every element of our family life in the world.
As Secular Franciscans we are called to live the Gospel life in this ordinary everyday world. We have the foundation of faith and trust in the Lord to support us. And in our prayer and contemplation we celebrate and live out the presence of God alive with us.
As we celebrate this Christmas season let us renew the spirit of the Holy Family in our own homes. Let us truly “advance in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”
Love, Fr. Paul
"Paz y Bien" From the Infirmarian:
SFO INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL Weekly News
FROM: CIOFS BULLETIN, 1998, VOL 4 N.45,46(Nov. 1998)OFM
6. “I want this brotherhood to be called Order of little brother!” (1Cel38)
said Francis. It was characteristic of minority that made the primitive
Franciscan fraternity such a powerful force in the world. Contemporary
society, obsessed with individualism, also needs the evangelical witness
of minority. Through selfishness, our world has arrived at the point of
identifying... abortion with liberation of women and suicide with the final
rights of the sick! And minority is strength for reconciliation and peace
in a world that, eager for power, is “torn by ethnic hatred and murderous
madness” (Vita Consecrata, n.51)
It is the evangelical fraternity that will make you happy to put yourselves on a level with all people, especially the most lowly. You feel “called, together with all people of goodwill, to build a more fraternal and evangelical world so that the kingdom of God may be brought about.” It is necessary however to commit oneself to the accomplishment of the duties appropriate to the work and the relevant professional preparation. It is necessary to take on one’s social and civil responsibilities, with the same spirit of service.
4. In order to create an evangelical fraternity, evangelical conversion logically constitutes the heart of the formative process. Formation does not only concern the growth of the individual...but also the development of an instruction, the experience and shared reflection “centering on the unity of faith
and life, following ways which tend to make the local fraternity a school of life, of maturity, of dialogue and communion, of conversion, of citizenship conscious and aware also of the living
experience of Church.” (SFO General Chapter).
Christmas Preparation Prayer
Calendar of Saints/Feast Days: December
8. Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron and
Queen of the Franciscan Orders.
12. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron and Queen of the Americas. Memorial.
15. Bl. Mary Frances Schervier, virgin. Op.Mem.
25. BIRTH OF OUR LORD-CHRISTMAS
27. Holy Family
28. Holy Innocents
January 1,1999: Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s Day)
3. Epiphany of the Lord
“For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him wonder-counselor, God-hero, father-forever, prince of peace” (9:5).
Each family, in some way, should be involved in the preparation for the great jubilee. Was it not through a family, the family of Nazareth that the son of God chose to enter into human history?
---John Paul II
In the Eastern Church, these are the ‘Holy Infants,’ the male children recorded slain by King Herod in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew’s account stresses Jesus as the ‘new Israel,’ persecuted and forced to flee, and the ‘new Moses,’ marvelously rescued from the general slaughter of the Hebrew
children. Because it is not recorded in any secular document, some scholars believe this incident was not an historical event, but rather Matthew’s way of presenting his theological ideas, a method quite popular among Semitic writers of that era.
January 3, 1999 - Epiphany of the Lord
From childhood we are captivated by the tale of exotic wise men from the East who follow a star to a humble stable in Bethlehem. Charming, but not exactly a story fraught with challenge for modern-day Christians. Or...it it?
The story of the Magi is a story about the quest for God. What it tells us is that we need to keep our eyes open on our own quest because God just might show up where we least expect it. Just picture the Magi’s surprise...the newborn king...in a stable! Yet they did not turn away to look
for another but bowed down in adoration before the child in the manger.
And herein lies the challenge for us today. Are we really open to the ways that God might choose to reveal himself to us or are we blinded by our own prejudices and preconceived notions? Can we accept that those whom we may deem useless or unworthy just might be the stars which can show us the way to God?
Our God is a God of the unexpected. Today, on this feast of Epiphany, let us pray that we may recognize and celebrate the myriad and surprising ways that God reveals himself to us each day.
Teresa Whalen, Regina, SK
Classes and Meetings
Dec. 12 at 1:30 pm and Dec. 27 at 1:30 pm at Queen of Angels. Instr.: Joanne Elfers
Dec. 12 and 27 at 1:00 pm at Queen of Angels.. Instructor: Rena Xuereb.
Dec. 27 at 1:30-2:30 pm at Queen of Angels. Topic: Series The Year of the Holy Spirit-
Spiritual Life. ALL PROFESSED ARE WELCOME. Instr.: Louise Baca
|"We are mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ when we carry him in our
hearts and in our bodies... and give birth to him through the working of
his grace in us which should shine forth as an example to others.”
-Letter to the Faithful
Jan. 2, 1999 at 1:30 pm at Queen of Angels. PROFESSED MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.
SPECIAL WORKSHOPS/ ACTIVITIES:
Cuarto Centennial Event
Plan to attend the archdiocesan celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe as "Reconciler of all Peoples" at 3:00 pm on December 13, 1998 at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque.