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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Numbers 6:22-27;  Galatians 4:4-7;  Luke 2:16-21

Three Key Words

Three words are touchstones in today's Gospel: amazed, treasured, returned. Why would God choose shepherds as heralds of his Son's birth? They were generally regarded as smelly and untrustworthy. Yet, perhaps because they were so unsophisticated and earthy, they could look beyond a scene which others might see as squalid (birth in a stable? a newborn in a feeding trough?). They had the grace to be amazed. Somehow, they saw the divine in the human, teaching us who follow to look for grace in unexpected circumstances.

Mary didn't seem surprised by what happened in Bethlehem; the angel's promise had prepared her for an unusual son. But she treasured and reflected on what was happening. She models how we too should respond to the varied happenings of our days. Activity can easily become a blur unless we, like Mary, take time for quiet meditation. What is God showing me through these events, people, or places?
When the shepherds returned, it could have been as anti-climactic as the end of the holiday. After what was probably the greatest event of their lives, they went back to the routine of tending sheep. Instead of being disappointed, they praised and glorified God. They were different people. They carried within their hearts the rich truth: God dwells among us as one of us.

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Painted by Rein Nomm

Oslo Gospel Choir - Come let us sing

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* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)