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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

Christmas Connections

When you think about it, Christmas is really about connections. We connect with family, friends and maybe even strangers because God reached out to us by sending us His Son. We are bound together because we are all His children, reflecting His image and likeness. So today, I'd like to share a few stories about Christmas connections that might prompt you to connect with someone yourself.

Robyn Lee, the former Managing Editor of CatholicMatch.com who is now pursuing a religious vocation, cited caroling with her family in their Connecticut neighborhood as one of her favorite Christmas traditions. One visit in particular stands out. A young woman came to the door, visibly upset while talking on the phone. Lee recalled, “We sang ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.’ She didn’t hang up the phone, but gazed at us. I remember trying to smile my brightest, as I saw tears streaking her face. When we finished singing, she asked, ‘What charity are you from?’ We told her that we aren’t raising money, but just family and friends out caroling together. Tears filled her eyes again as she thanked us: ‘You don’t know what this means to me.’” Lee felt grateful that she was able to “bring a glimmer of peace and joy” to someone in need of God’s love and beauty.

Love for those in need was a theme in Elizabeth Scalia’s reflection on Christmas through the lens of her son’s encounter with a homeless woman in New York’s Penn Station.  Writing on the National Review website, Scalia said:

“[The woman] said she was hungry and wondered if he might spare some change. Instead, he walked with her to a food stand and bought her a hamburger and fries and a drink. As she ate, he sat with her, and they chatted pleasantly. When I asked him why he didn’t simply hand her a few dollars and keep walking...he said that would have seemed ‘dismissive’—that the woman was as deserving as anyone else of being seen, and heard, and known.”

Scalia continued, “In the noise of the world and our harried distractions and self-absorption, we lose track of the mystery and message of Christmas: that we are meant to be an Incarnational people, a people of intention, consenting to be aware of each other, fully present to each other, alive to each other, affirming each other, for God’s sake.”

That kind of affirmation was present for blogger and Brooklyn Diocese Deacon Greg Kandra during the Christmas when his sister-in-law gave her father pictures of his grandmother Agnes and a few paragraphs telling her story. Agnes was widowed at an early age and raised nine children on her own. She supported her family by teaching school and through the generosity of family, friends, and members of her parish church.

Deacon Kandra’s father-in-law wept at the legacy he held in his hands, a legacy that had helped make not only his life possible, but also that of his children and grandchildren.

The Deacon concluded, “In one way or another, we are all here because of those who came before us...They sailed on ships to a vast stretch of uncharted earth where they plowed fields, built cities, mined coal, dug wells, forged steel, and paved roads. They fell in love, raised families, and saw in this land a place of possibility. Some did it against incredible odds. Whisper a prayer tonight for these good souls, most of whom we may never have met or known. Their legacy is a gift that keeps on giving.”

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, JESUS: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org