MISSION AND MINISTRY | Most of us enjoy learning about someone who unexpectedly succeeds when all indications were against a positive outcome. The Christmas Season is a story about apparent losers whose success is celebrated world-wide: the parents who had to leave home and travel to a village where there was no decent room for them even though the mother was ready to give birth. If we care to reflect on the story, it is ours too, in which we have become winners though we might appear to have been left out in the cold.
When our attention and energy are focused on the disorder of hate and violence that is made so highly visible to us by the media, we might think of ourselves as being powerless. But wins are available to us every day, though they are almost always less dramatic and are certainly less well publicized than the darkness which provides the contrast for light to shine. We manifest our power for good in all the ways that we care for one another. This time of year, even for all the commercial efforts at doing Christmas the disservice of a “makeover,” is still a time when people throughout the world express their love in unique personal customs and traditions on behalf of family and friends, co-workers and service providers, and those who are sick, poor or in any need.
Perhaps one of the most underrated but significant human acts of love of which we are capable is when we become a part of others’ stories through our compassionate accompaniment with them. We give to others the experience of respect and understanding that makes physical, emotional and other kinds of suffering bearable, by being with them even when we cannot change the circumstances that affect them negatively. In this season of caring, and all through the year, we have within us the capacity to give the best and most appreciated gift in human society: our presence.
Since 2005, faculty and staff have enjoyed the companionship of colleagues by participating in one of the “Pre-Christmas Musical Luncheons” sponsored by the Center for Ignatian Spirituality. The ambiance of live instrumental music and the format of a brief Scripturally-based program make for a joyful experience of the true spirit of the holidays.
Pre-Christmas Musical Luncheons this year will be on: Thursday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 5, 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Space is limited: Please reserve a seat by calling 81806, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of these luncheons is a separate event following the same format.