1986 Dec 21 – 4th Sun of Advent (Bulletin Letters)
December 18, 1986
THE ILLEGITIMATE CHRIST: A seminary professor once told a class of mine that Jesus was an illegitimate child. He said that Joseph went along with the birth out of compassion for Mary. I don’t adhere to that interpretation, but the idea did cause me to think. Jesus may not have been illegitimate in a strict sense, yet his birth was not legitimate either.
The Gospel readings for Christmas come from the Infant Narratives, a collection of stories and statements surrounding Jesus’ birth. The Gospel writers go to great lengths to support the Messianic claims of the newborn child. However, the events tell a different story. Jesus was born in utter poverty. Jesus’ birth went completely unnoticed by the institutional Church of his day. The very people who were the keepers of the great scriptures upon which Jesus’ Messianic Claims rest did not notice his birth. Worse yet, when Jesus’ birth was brought to the attention of’ Herod, the political power for the region, Jesus was though to be a threat. Herod resorted to a count-revolutionary raid on Bethlehem to liquidate the Christ. In the eyes of the world, Jesus was as illegitimate as they come.
That was then…
…this is now.
There is a problem celebrating Christmas these days. While we all acknowledge the babe born in a manger 2000 years ago in Bethlehem as Christ, we live in a world that allows a vast number of children to be born as illegitimate as Jesus was, in the starkest of poverty, unnoticed by the rich and powerful and victims of military madness.
SECOND COLLECTION: Don’t forget the second collection being taken at all the Christmas Masses for St. Anthony’ s Shelter in Omaha. Representa-tives from the shelter will be with us this weekend to share about their ministry. Please be generous. –
WOMEN & CHLDREN/ WAR & POVERTY: Today women and children have become the victims of poverty and war. A 1985 study by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) called The Women’s Budget complies many statistics showing the adverse effect that the military budgets and economic structures have on women and children. For the next few weeks we will be including some of these statistics in the bulletins as food for thought. Anyone interested in finding out more about the WILPF or their booklet The Women’s Budget talk to Fr. Frank.
CHRISTMAS GUEST: I have managed a. major coup within the Cordaro clan. My mother will be spending Christmas with me here in Logan. We will be having our family gathering in Des Moines, December 29th, after the Feast Of The Holy Innocents Retreat in Omaha.