This morning, in the town where I was born, three homes were burned to ashes. Four men were shot trying to save them. Two of those men died. So did the one with the gun.
How many more? How many before our world comes crashing to its knees and can no longer ask the questions, no longer bear the pain?
There is a prayer, or rather a series of prayers in the Catholic faith called the Liturgy of the Hours. It is the prayer every priest is commanded to pray daily and many others choose to join them. The morning prayers are known as “compline,” and in it there is a canticle, a song, from the Gospel of Luke, a father proclaiming the coming of a reckoning to his son…
Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy Covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.
You, My child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.
This is my prayer tonight. It is called the Benedictus, the Blessing. Whatever your creed or lack thereof, on this night of all nights, I ask that you open your heart to Love and follow the path of Peace.
Whatever your creed, this is what I wish you: Love. Peace. Hope. This is Christmas: Love. Peace. Hope.
So politically uncorrect as it may be, I wish a Merry Christmas to you all—Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Agnostic, Buddhist, Spiritualist, Wiccan, Atheist…
A BLESSED Christmas to all…
…and to all a good night.