December 23, 2018 - Pastor Message01/18/2019
“Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:47).
There was no room for them in the inn. This brief line in Luke’s account of the nativity is easily passed over, but think for a moment what it means. The Holy Family had approached the innkeeper seeking shelter, and they were turned away. The Son of God was rejected by his people before he was even born because they could not, or would not, make room for him.
As we celebrate Christ’s coming this Christmas, we face the same question as the innkeeper: Do we have room for him? Do we have room for him in our lives? Do we have room for him in our parish? Do we have room for him in our pew? Christmas affords us a special opportunity each year to make room for Jesus at St. Boniface by welcoming the many visitors who find their way here for Christmas Masses. Like the Holy Family, many people travel at Christmas time, perhaps coming in from out of town to visit family or friends. Many other people may come here for Christmas Mass because they are unable to attend Mass at their own parish or because they have family members here. Still others may visit us because the grace of this holy season has stirred their hearts to come to Mass when they may have been away for a while. Whatever the reason, we see a lot of new faces at Christmas Masses. Do we make room for them, not just physically by putting out a few extra chairs or scooching over in our pew, but spiritually by going out of our way to help them feel welcome and letting them know that we are glad they are here?
Jesus teaches us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters we do for him. Let us welcome the visitors among us at Christmas Masses as we do Christ himself. That will go a long way toward making this a very, merry Christmas for one and all. On behalf of the entire parish staff I wish you all the fullest blessings of the season. May the light of Christ fill your Christmas with joy and the new year with his peace.
Fr. Marc Stockton