Thursday, December 1, 2016

Season's Greetings?

I am sorry but I can’t join you in your outrage because you think that someone is telling us we can’t wish people a Merry Christmas. Even if it was true, there are far too many real problems in the world that ought to outrage us.

For example, World AIDS Day has just gone by with barely a notice. Yet, AIDS continues to be a major issue affecting millions of people. We still need to work to educate people about prevention. We still need to address the social consequences of people left orphaned.

Also, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is this week. The statistics are mindboggling and can’t be ignored. As Joe Strummer of The Clash yelled into a mic over twenty years ago, on this very subject, “Hey! But this is serious!” It remains serious, and all parts of our society need to remember and act.

There is a song that is often used as a grace before meals:
For food in a world where many walk in hunger,
for friends in a world where many walk alone,
for faith in a world where many walk in fear,
we give you thanks, O God.

It’s weird. I always thought this was a prayer that the hungry would have food, the lonely would have friends and the fearful would find faith. I never heard it as a thanksgiving for food, friends and faith. But I guess it is. So, I have found a prayer that I hope to add to my repertoire of graces:
To those who have hunger, give bread;
to those who have bread, give a hunger for justice. Amen.

Season’s greetings, happy holidays – I don’t care. Let’s do as Jesus said, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ (Matthew 22:37-40)

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