The ornament for today is a picture of a newspaper. In the recent past, reading a newspaper was one of the only ways of finding out what was going on in the world around us. The headline of the day proclaimed what we needed to know to stay informed.
Sometimes the Word of God is called the Good News. We can hear it proclaimed in our churches, and read it online, or in a book. God’s word is powerful and it can lead us to a closer relationship with him if we take the time to read it.
I think the most effective way of spreading the Good News of Jesus is not by preaching, or reading, but by living our lives for others. My parents are stellar examples of this kind of faith in action.
After my parents had been married for two years, my grandmother passed away. My mom and dad moved in with my grandfather to help raise her 6 year old brother. This was the beginning of a selfless life of service to others.
I can remember many relatives coming to convalesce with us after surgeries or illnesses. My parents welcomed anyone in need into our home for rest and care. When my grandfathers grew old and feeble, there was always a place for them at our house.
After my grandfathers passed away, my parents opened their home to my brother and his family. My niece and nephew grew up in the home my brothers and I shared.
One recent Christmas my parents invited my cousin to share their holiday. He was newly released from jail and his family would have nothing to do with him. My mom and dad asked him to be a part of their family that Christmas, providing presents, a meal and of course, an invite to go to mass with them!
We called my parents late on Thanksgiving night. They were getting ready to turn in for the night after hosting a large number of relatives for dinner. When we asked what their plans were for the weekend, they responded that they would be going to the hardware store for paint. Some of the empty rooms upstairs needed a new coat. They wanted to make sure they would be fresh and ready in case my sister-in-law and nephew needed a place to stay this winter.
My parents are both 81 years old. They are the glue that holds my Indiana family together. They go to mass regularly, but they are unassuming people. Their family is the most important thing in the world to them. They are the living, breathing hands, feet, and face of Jesus in this world. They breathe life into their faith by the choices they make.
They are The Good News!
This Advent I keep my parents and their way of life at the front of my mind. How can I spread the Good News in my own life?
Will people ever be able to see the gospels at work in me?