UP Catholic 12 18 2015 E Edition Page 7

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY December 18, 2015 7 I wasnt born into a rich family, but Im thankful for the food we always had on the table and the roof we had over our heads. And Santa was always good to me. One of my favorite Christmas presents was a toy car I think it was purple with skis on the front and a rubber wheel in the middle. Pulling back quickly on a strip of plastic that made the wheel turn made the car take off like a rocket. You could have put an eye out with that thing. My cousin, Michael, received a similar car that year. We had a lot of fun and none of our toy related injuries were too serious. Another great Christmas fift was a chemistry set with microscope. It came with test tubes that were perfect for testing out whether you real- ly can separate hydrogen and oxygen from water using some scraps of wire and a giant battery I happened to have on hand. You can! Its also possible while con- ducting experiments to heat up and accidentally blister the paint off your lab bench known by some as your mothers nice metal folding table and perhaps cause a ire hazard if you leave exper- iments unattended for just a moment, or so Ive been told. It probably wasnt the safest of all possible worlds back then. However, we managed to grow up with the occasional black eye and guidance from our parents when, just maybe, our attention to the details could have been better. Now that Im older, Ive fotten better at paying attention to the details. Ive got plans, Ive got safety nets and I like to take control of my life and my world. But the world is messy; its untamable. And its a lot less frustrating if I remember to admit I cant control everything and I shouldnt try to. When I think of God, I often envision Mi- chelangelos creation portrait of God as the old man with big muscles reaching out and touch- ing his finger to Adam's. God is powerful and hes in control. But theres also another image of God. Hes the Christ child in the manger tiny and trusting. This Christmas I'm really going to reflect on that latter image. If the Creator became man and completely trusted himself to the hands of Mary and Joseph, perhaps I should learn to let go of my desire to control things. Maybe I can learn to trust others more and especially trust my heavenly Father, placing myself in his strong hands. May the seasons of Advent and Christmas bring you much joy and many blessing to last throughout the year. Christmas is only for children - of all ages FAITH FORMATION COORDINATOR Holy Family Parish in Marinette, WI is seeking a Faith Formation Coordinator. The full time position would start on June 1, 2016 for grades K-11. Responsibilities include but not limited to coordinating all sacramental programs, recruit and train catechists and develop an effective outreach/education program with parents of students. Also, serves as Local Safe Environment Coordinator for the parish. Qualified candidates should have completed or be working toward Diocesan Faith Formation Certification. Resumes can be mailed to: Fr. Celestine Byekwaso, 2715 Taylor St., Marinette, WI 54143 For more information, contact Pamela Meyers, Office Manager at 715-735-9100 ext. 108 T he Gospel of the first Tuesday of Advent begins with Jesus words: I give you praise Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. What are these things that children know that we forget as we age? Have you ever caught the eye of a 2 or 3 week old baby and smiled at him or her? Inevitably the baby smiles at you. No fear just a bit of joy. Watch a small child at play. See the absorption with the toy truck or plush animal or blocks. No ulterior motives just the joy of play. Observe a child discovering a bug or a pretty flower - the watching and the wonder. Enjoy the spar- kle of babies on their first Christmas as they look at the lights and ornaments. My favorite baby-watch is to see a toddler encounter- ing another toddler there is fascination and pleasure at the discovery. Happy and blessed the parents who take real joy in their children, show them that they are loved, and that they can trust their parents. Sadly, our culture does not like children. The ones who es- cape the abortionist are soon destroyed by being smothered by things - taught to have every want gratified and not learn the difference between want and need. Too many children are exposed to a world that they cannot trust, to adults who look at them and see $$$$$. The child who finds a few gifts under the tree is truly gifted more than one who finds a whole pile of things! Blessed is the child who inds a stable and a crib and an Infant Jesus with Mary, Joseph, a few shepherds, three travelers from the Orient and a star shining upon them all. For indeed, at Christmas we celebrate a birthday and children must wonder how the big people can throw a party and not only fail to invite but deliberately exclude the guest of honor. I do not disparage the gathering of families and gift-giving and a festal meal but without Jesus why call it Christmas? Blessed are those adults who know that it is the bursting of God into our human lives and who find in Jesus the most perfect gift. Blessed are those adults who have the heart of a child. Blessed are we when we are aware that God comes to us, not only on one day of the year, but every single day. God comes with his quiet presence, in the love of others, in those whom we serve when we feed the hungry, etc. God comes to us in the beauty of the world around us a sunrise, the colors of the setting sun in the clouds, bird-song and the antics of puppies and kittens and squirrels and chipmunks, in wind-song in the trees, and the brilliance of the stars! When we live with a sense of wonder there is nothing that does not speak to us of God! If you hear or watch Dickens A Christmas Carol, pay close at- tention to the end. It is a carol and a song, celebrating the conver- sion of Scrooge from miserable miser to a man who knew how to keep Christmas every day of his life. May we, too, be so blessed. A joy-filled Christmas to everyone! REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling TO IT (Weren't you going to advertise with us when you got a round to it?) Contact Deacon Steve 1-866-452-5112 HERE AM I John Fee Santa was always good to me PHOTO COURTESY OF SACRED HEART PARISH, L'ANSE A beautiful crche was displayed in front of the altar at Sacred Heart Parish in L'Anse during the 2014 Christmas season.

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