I was sharing with some of the servers this past week that I understood how happy they must be to be going back to school on Monday. They were less than amused. But for most of us, the end of the Christmas season means beginning the rigors of work and school once more. Someone had mentioned this past week that Christmas seems so anticipated, only to pass by in a few short hours.
Though even in the Church year we lead up to the story of Jesus' birth, it seems we barely take any time at the manger, and then we have Jesus beginning his public ministry. But alas, Jesus himself will remind us that the reason he came into the world was to reveal the Kingdom of God, proclaiming salvation, and announcing the 'Good News.' Peter wants to keep Jesus around, his family comes to see him, and we even would like to have some quality time with the child Jesus; but the Gospels tell us that we have to work.
And the work that the Church does is to teach, preach, and sanctify. From its celebration of the Eucharist at Liturgy, its education and catechetical programs, and ministry to the sick, poor, and oppressed, the Church continues to make known the words and teachings of Jesus Christ. The teaching of the, Church in the Modern World, presaented to the world at the Second Vatican Council, makes it clear that the Church cannot be a wall flower.
It is always amusing to read comments on message boards, and in text, stating the Church needs to stay out of politics. Well in reality issues of Life, human dignity, poverty, and violence, are all moral matters and call for moral leadership. If anything the Church needs to take a stronger position on some of the problems afflicting our society.
It is an ongoing task to recognize that the Church has a place in the world today. Our going to work encompasses all of humanity, and human life from womb to tomb - and into eternal life. At St. Mary's we have spoken a lot about stewardship over the last few years. We are really speaking about discipleship and taking responsibility for the Church. I remember that Dunkin Doughnut commercial with the baker, "Its time to make the doughnuts."
For us after this feast and all of the celebrations, food, people, and fun, its time to proclaim the Kingdom.