I attended mass with a friend last week and this was preached from the pulpit and in the weekly bulletin. My friend said this priest has been contacted by parishioners on multiple occasions and the cardinal has been contacted but he only gets more belligerent in his homilies. I’m told he is friends with the cardinal. How is it that a priest can be allowed to preach that two mommies is the same as any other 2 parent household? Since when do we as Catholics preach to our children is is acceptable behavior to peruse a homosexual relationship and to raise children in it? Am I over reacting? Also the cardinal is one of the folks assigned to assist the pope on Vatican reform what can we expect?
From the Pastor’s Desk December 29, 2013
“Leave it to Beaver” and “The Ozzie and Harriet Show” were weekly shows in the early days of television that depicted fam-ily life in a more or less idyllic way. June Cleaver and Harriet Nel-son were stay at home moms who always looked as if they had just come from the beauty parlor. Ward Cleaver would come home from work every day, exchange his suit jacket for a comfortable sweater, sit down to a nicely prepared supper and impart some fatherly wis-dom to his two sons Beaver and Wally. Ozzie Nelson had much the same routine with his sons David and Ricky. To say the least, these were very entertaining shows that unrealistically presented family life as a bowl of cherries. An occasional ethical challenge would teach the four boys some important lessons about life but for the most part they were just human interest stories devoid of the real pressures and tensions of the families in which most of us came of age.
This weekend, dedicated to the Holy Family, invites us to reflect on family life in our own day and age. And the first thing we notice is how different and difficult family life must have been for Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That very first Christmas had to be a night-mare for Joseph and Mary. Imagine having traveled all that distance and not being able to find a decent place to spend the night! We have to believe that Mary’s first born child came a bit early and probably caught them off guard. Maybe the long ride on the back of a donkey convinced Jesus that it was time to make his appearance. Whatever the reasons, the birth of Jesus did not take place in idyllic circumstances. It really took place in abject poverty.
And of course, Mary and Joseph were not the ideal couple either. Mary was pregnant before being married and obviously faced more than a few raised eyebrows as her pregnancy became known. And God bless Joseph who was open to what had to be the most unnerving and mysterious experience of his life: being told in a dream to put aside his concerns about the pregnancy of his fiancé. The circumstances surrounding the first family were a light year from “Leave It To Beaver” and “Ozzie and Harriet”.
It is very easy to forget that Mary would have been an un-wed mother were it not for Joseph. It is also easy to forget that Jo-seph was not the natural father of Jesus but became his foster father and protector, along with his new bride Mary. And the circumstanc-es surrounding the birth of Jesus should fill us all with a deep respect and empathy for the poor and unwed mothers of our day. Taken all together, the first family of Christianity reminds us that there is no such thing as normal. Every family is different and this means that we need to broaden our understanding of family life beyond TV sitcoms and applaud the virtues of family living wherever we find them: two parent families, single parent families, blended families, families with two mommies or two daddies and adoptive families. What is most important is that we continually hold up the family as the instrument that God has chosen to communicate God’s uncondi-tional love to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our so-ciety.
The feast of the Holy Family invites us all to reflect upon the graces that have been ours through the love of our parents. It invites us to work doubly hard for things like food stamps for the poor and adequate health care for our children. It invites us to sup-port all heads of families who struggle every day to be good role models for their children. It invites us to recommit ourselves to the defense of unborn life. And most of all, it invites us to thank God for the yes(es) of Joseph and Mary that have completely changed our world though the gift of their Son, Jesus.
God Bless! Msgr. Paul