||January 5, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 1 • Oakland, CA|
'Peace on Earth' begins with 'Peace in me'
With all the evil going on in the world this season, one can be tempted to despair: beheadings in the Middle East, kidnapping of college kids and their execution in Mexico, the murder of two New York police officers in cold blood as they sat in their patrol car, the wanton destruction and vandalism of stores and businesses in our own city of Oakland. Even our cathedral was not spared.
Yet so is Christ's power to heal. When Christ went through his passion and death, he absorbed all the pain caused by our sins. Often when I go to the hospital to anoint a dying grandmother, I find the family — usually grown adult children — around the bed. Mother is usually unconscious. I ask the family to join hands and pray with me. I invite them, in their hearts, to forgive their mother for any sins she may have committed against them . . . and ask them to forgive any sins or hurts they may have inflicted on their mother. Many a family have been reconciled on their mother's deathbed.
Christ's overpowering love and sacrifice enable us to do the same.
I was impressed by how many parishes in our diocese held Reconciliation Services before Christmas — and how many people took advantage of them.
I heard confessions at one of these services in Pleasanton. But I knew I could not be a sign of reconciliation to others without going to confession myself first.
"His name will be called Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 6)
Be the peace you want to see in the world.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
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