Christmas 2012

By Beatrice Parwatikar

1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28 | 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24 | Luke 2:41-52
(at this link, you will also see other options for the first & second readings)

John reminds us that we are all God’s children and the proof that the Spirit remains in us is how we keep the great commandment to love one another. We are all God’s children–there are no exceptions. We as the human family must encourage one another to live in peace. We do not keep the great commandment when we do not accept all people as our sisters and brothers. To have a society that allocates large amounts of financial resources, human intellect, and natural resources to kill each other rather than using those same resources to help our human family is a breaking of the great commandment to love.

Jesus stays behind to converse with the teachers in the Temple. It took a day before Joseph and Mary knew he was missing because they thought he was with others in the caravan. Jesus’ absence was not due to the neglect of Mary and Joseph, because this was a society that shared responsibility for each other. We have a society and government that does not support families, and we have become a nation that appears to the world that we do not support or care about families around the globe. We are a nation that talks about the sanctity of life but our policies do not support the sanctity of life.

We must be prepared to support life with clean water, food, education, housing, medical care and jobs that pay a fair wage to support a family. It should be our goal to see that all families have this, whether in the United States or the Global South. In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the Spirit of Christmas Present reminds Scrooge, “All humankind should be our business.”

Actions to consider: 

  • Identify a policy or issue that affects families. Learn about it and then find a way to act on it.
  • Help with the needs of your own family, friends and neighbors–down the street and across the globe.
  • Start the practice of family meetings to listen to all the needs of every family member. Learn to solve family problems through mediation.

This reflection is from Hoping, Seeking and Demanding Justice: Reflections for Advent 2003. Beatrice Parwatikar is a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, former member of the Pax Christi USA National Council, and a founding member of the Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team.

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