Sunday, December 18, 2016

For Unto Us a Child is Born

A week from today, most  Christians will be gathered with  family and friends  around the dining room table enjoying the festivities of the season. Turkey, cranberry sauce and much more will adorn the tables. Laughter and gift giving will excite the children as their requests to Santa will  be for the most part  met. That is the norm for most.

I am reminded three days a week as I trek through Montreal streets and the underground that there are many that won't be home for Christmas. Is it by choice or fate? I  don't have the answer. As I  walk through Bonaventure metro station, towards Place Ville Marie, it feels so surreal. I feel I am imposing on those men sleeping one after the other in a single row  on the cement  benches that line the corridor. I feel like I am in a twilight zone. On the city streets, many are  standing with paper cups asking for change. Montreal has a major problem with the homeless. Do  we not have enough places where these men can seek warmth, a meal and perhaps a shower?

Life is tough  for many. My husband reminded me today how lucky we are. We are not in want or need of anything. Our life is good and not a day goes by that we  don't thank the Lord for our blessings.

One early morning a couple of weeks ago, I was  walking through Central Station. I had just said to myself that my knees and back are sore. As soon as I said that, a lady my age walked right  past me with only one leg and a set of crutches. I said to myself thanks for the message...I won't complain anymore about my aches and pains. I recounted that experience later that day  when I sat with a priest colleague who made a comment that his back was sore.

I have  probably  mentioned this story before about  Kelly-Anne and Kim on a  Christmas Eve in years past.We were in  downtown Montreal going to the church service when Kelly-Anne asked that we stop the car so she and Kim could get out and go to McDonald's to  buy a homeless person  food before the  shop closed. Kelly-Anne  was always mindful of those in need. Kim throughout the years would take on a family in need in the community and shop and prepare a basket for them. I am a proud mother.

The reason for the season isn't about the number of  gifts under the tree, the bottles of wine and liquor that will be consumed. Christmas is  the celebration of new birth, new life.

We will gather with our  little family and enjoy each other's company. Kelly-Anne as always will have her  place at the table.

From our family to yours, we wish you all a very blessed and  Merry Christmas.

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