The holiday season always takes me back to fond memories of gatherings at my grandparents’ home. All of my cousins and aunts and uncles would come to the farm where their young roots were once nourished. We kids keep busy while the vittles were being prepared by playing softball, card games, mother-may-I, carom and checkers, and listening to the family story tellers recap tales of the old days. As one of the youngest in the group, Grandma would often prescribe God’s cure for a young lad with ADHD, which was to go outside and play! Grandma usually had to repeat this treatment to calm my high energy level. And when the meal was ready we all gathered for a prayer of thanksgiving and then filled our plates with home cooking. The food was so good it made my tongue slap my brain around trying to get at it!
The holiday season has changed for me and reinvented itself over the years. Some of the pillars of the family are now gone and new folks have been added. New memories are being created and the food is just as good, although I now need to limit how much I eat. Some folks say “blood is thicker than water.” Maybe that is based upon a responsibility we feel for our names sake and the love we have for each other. We are family!
Here at Holy Myrrhbearers, we too participate in a holiday gathering. If you think about it, we spend holidays together at Vigil and Liturgy. We share meals together, prayers of thanksgiving, and stories and happenings that are current in our lives. We weep with each other in times of trials and of triumphs. And we count on each other and remember each other in our prayers. This tends to prove the “blood is thicker than water” declaration, for it is by His blood that we share and care for each other.
Our church family is anchored by a genuine love for us all. We here in the book of Psalms: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50: 10-15)
I am thankful for such a loving Father. In the Gospel of John we read: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [Jn. 1:12,13] My brothers and sisters in the Lord, we are family!
Fr. Gabriel Weller 12/1/13