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Back The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Friday, December 27, 2019
From the Desk of Fr. Ron…….
Recently Deacon Don Weigel conducted a unique experience for our Parish entitled: “A Refugee Simulation.” A good group of various ages gathered and began the workshop. We learned a few definitions. A migrant is one who leaves their home on a journey to another country for various reasons. It really is an umbrella and comprehensive sort of word. We may be acquainted with the term “migrant workers” due to the number of farm workers who migrate to our area to harvest certain crops in season. Afterwards they return home. An immigrant of course is someone who leaves home freely choosing another country to “migrate” or move to. A refugee is someone who is forced to flee their homeland under duress; oftentimes in danger for their lives or the lives of their families. They are often resettled in countries not of their own choosing but ones who make agreements to take them.
Today’s feast of the Holy Family, within our new Liturgical Year “C” pays attention to a real “refugee” incident that the Holy Family experienced. The Gospel of Matthew, chapter two records a heavenly messenger visiting Joseph in a dream and warning him to take Mary and his child and flee into Egypt for King Herod will attempt to kill the child.
In the verses that follow our Gospel text Herod indeed begins a campaign to eliminate a threat he feels by the presence of a child declared to him by the three Magi as a new King of Israel. All Hebrew boys two and under were to be massacred. Because of Joseph’s belief in the threat of violence against his family and Egypt’s willingness to accept refugees, our Savior escapes the violence that unfortunately many other families of Hebrew boys had to endure.
In our parish simulation experience we were divided up into family unit groups. Each step of the way we had to give up items we were carrying with us for survival. Because this was a simulation it wasn’t as threatening as when we were challenged to break up our family unit in order that a few achieve transportation to supposed safety leaving the others behind. Even though this was only a simulation, choosing was painful. Everyone wanted to flee to safety. We could understand how desperation may corrupt the most virtuous among us.
During this most unique reflection upon the Holy Family; one in which we dwell upon their travels as refugees, we pray for a sensitive heart, mind, and soul toward many thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world for whom this is a reality not a simulation. May God guard, protect, ensure safe passage and find new country homes for them. May those countries that receive them be enriched by their skills and talents and grow in blessings.
WELCOME GUEST During our Christmas holidays we welcome Fr. Richard Oduor, a Kenyan who was ordained a priest last year for the Diocese of Torit in South Sudan and who is studying in Rome. He is here to meet with the ROTA: Reaching Out 2 Africa Board and others who have supported him throughout his seminary and even now in his studies in Rome. Welcome Fr. Richard.
SPECIAL THANKS to all our church membership who had assisted with our “Giving Tree” project as well as our Liturgical Environment team. Many hands indeed make light work. Thanks for the commitment of your time and talent to brighten the Christmas celebration for us and so many people in need within our larger community. Holy Family Blessings.