A Christmas reflection from the Bros of Life


#1

It’s almost Christmas. In a few hours many of us will be at Midnight Mass commemorating the entrance of the Lord of Life into the world. He came as an infant, so that we might not fear him. He wanted to grow up among us, to give us time to get to know him. He played with other children to show them the innocence of life. He died on a cross to show us the cruelty of sin. But in the end, he rose triumphantly to show us the glory of the Father. Christmas is the beginning of a great journey that God takes on through his only begotten Son, not for his benefit, but for our own. He begins this journey to bring us back to him.

Yet, I must confess that as I prepare for Christmas early this morning, the last day before Christmas, I am struck with a mixture of anticipation and sadness. I know that God is good. I have seen it in my own life. I have led a very sinful life and God has been merciful and forgiven me. Even though I have repented of my many sins, I know that there is nothing that I can do to merit his great love at Christmas, when he will come to me in the Eucharist, as he came to Mary and Joseph in the manger. It is only through his great mercy that I will dare receive him in the Eucharist. This fills me with great love and sensitivity knowing that undeserving, God will still love me and give me a chance to love him in return.

But there is the unborn child who will not live to see Christmas. There is the hopeless man and woman who will take his life this Christmas. There is the healthcare worker who will take the life of an unborn child at an abortion mill and whose soul God so much loves and wants to save. What about the parents who have killed their unborn in the womb? Will any of these people feel the presence of love and the source of life this Christmas?

My Franciscan Brothers of Life are a young group. We can’t take the message of great joy to that many people. Our reach is so short. This leads me to wonder, what can I do for the child Jesus? Jesus deserves our all. Yet, he is so humble that he does not ask for much. He only asks that we allow him to love us.

I am reminded of my Holy Father Francis, how much he loved the beloved child in the manger when he set up his famous crib at Greccio. I ask all of you, my brothers and sisters, that I may be a true Instrument of Life for the unborn, for the hopeless who believe their lives are not worth living and most of all for the souls of those who do not understand the sacredness of human life, which God the Father gave as a most precious gift to his only begotten Son.

May the infant Jesus bless you from the crib at Greccio, this year and through your lives.

Br. JR, OSF :christmastree1:


#2

[quote="JReducation, post:1, topic:180762"]
It’s almost Christmas. In a few hours many of us will be at Midnight Mass commemorating the entrance of the Lord of Life into the world. He came as an infant, so that we might not fear him. He wanted to grow up among us, to give us time to get to know him. He played with other children to show them the innocence of life. He died on a cross to show us the cruelty of sin. But in the end, he rose triumphantly to show us the glory of the Father. Christmas is the beginning of a great journey that God takes on through his only begotten Son, not for his benefit, but for our own. He begins this journey to bring us back to him.

Yet, I must confess that as I prepare for Christmas early this morning, the last day before Christmas, I am struck with a mixture of anticipation and sadness. I know that God is good. I have seen it in my own life. I have led a very sinful life and God has been merciful and forgiven me. Even though I have repented of my many sins, I know that there is nothing that I can do to merit his great love at Christmas, when he will come to me in the Eucharist, as he came to Mary and Joseph in the manger. It is only through his great mercy that I will dare receive him in the Eucharist. This fills me with great love and sensitivity knowing that undeserving, God will still love me and give me a chance to love him in return.

But there is the unborn child who will not live to see Christmas. There is the hopeless man and woman who will take his life this Christmas. There is the healthcare worker who will take the life of an unborn child at an abortion mill and whose soul God so much loves and wants to save. What about the parents who have killed their unborn in the womb? Will any of these people feel the presence of love and the source of life this Christmas?

My Franciscan Brothers of Life are a young group. We can’t take the message of great joy to that many people. Our reach is so short. This leads me to wonder, what can I do for the child Jesus? Jesus deserves our all. Yet, he is so humble that he does not ask for much. He only asks that we allow him to love us.

I am reminded of my Holy Father Francis, how much he loved the beloved child in the manger when he set up his famous crib at Greccio. I ask all of you, my brothers and sisters, that I may be a true Instrument of Life for the unborn, for the hopeless who believe their lives are not worth living and most of all for the souls of those who do not understand the sacredness of human life, which God the Father gave as a most precious gift to his only begotten Son.

May the infant Jesus bless you from the crib at Greccio, this year and through your lives.

Br. JR, OSF :christmastree1:

[/quote]

Dear Br Jr,

These reflections, for some reason, always tear me up inside. Just to let you know I will be keeping this cause in my intentions when I do get to receive Jesus at His Liturgy tonight. I truly wish I could do more to help you and your cause. BTW, I believe you already are God's true Instrument of Life for All of us.

May the Love, Joy and Peace of Christ's birth be with you always.


#3

Br. JR,

Your work is truly caring for and bringing Christ's love to the least among us in a world that would just as soon drive right past them in pursuit of something else. I pray that you and your Brothers have great success in your work and in vocations this year.

I humbly ask all our brothers and sisters here at CAF to reflect upon your many enlightening posts here in the forum, to see St. Francis in your words, and to remember the Brothers of Life in their prayers this Christmas Day and throughout the year.

http://www.in1spirit.com/files/FirstMission.jpg

Merry Christmas to you, Br. Jay, and to all the Brothers of Life. :thumbsup:


#4

I hope that other members of the Catholic Answers Forum join us in daily prayer for Br JR and the Franciscan Brothers of Life.


#5

[quote="JReducation, post:1, topic:180762"]
There is the hopeless man and woman who will take his life this Christmas. Br. JR, OSF :christmastree1:

[/quote]

One story I read on these forums was a wife whose husband, jobless and homeless, decided to take his life a few days before.

Much of what you write here is true but we still hope. God bless you and your work. My little Christmas message is this retelling of Luke by Fr. Robert Barron. I hope you like it. It will take 6 minutes of your time...

payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/12/25/christmas-with-fr-robert-barron/

Merry Christmas,

dj


#6

[quote="djeter, post:5, topic:180762"]
One story I read on these forums was a wife whose husband, jobless and homeless, decided to take his life a few days before.

Much of what you write here is true but we still hope. God bless you and your work. My little Christmas message is this retelling of Luke by Fr. Robert Barron. I hope you like it. It will take 6 minutes of your time...

payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/12/25/christmas-with-fr-robert-barron/

Merry Christmas,

dj

[/quote]

That was very nice. Thank you for sharing it. I especially liked the point that he makes when he mentions that angels always say, "Do no be afraid." I had never thought about that. It was interesting.

Thank you again and have a blessed Christmas,

Br. JR, OSF :christmastree1:


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.