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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

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Last weekend I got out the ladder and joined my neighbors in our annual campaign to dress up our street for Christmas. Our Jewish neighbors understandably abstain from Christmas decorations, but they’ll certainly bring refreshments to the neighborhood party. We’ve got a great sense of community here in Finneytown.

Climbing the ladder it occured to me that people are hanging lights for lots of reasons. Yeah, sure, Christmas is coming. It’s what some of us did as kids, and we still do it. Some of us might just want the place to look festive for our own kids home from college, or neighbors, or whoever. (Some might even be trying to outdo another neighbor!)

I’ve taken to riding my bicycle to work, even in this cool weather, and I’m really in touch with how dark it is, morning and evening, these days close to winter solstice. For me, and lots of us, the Christmas lights are blues busters!

IMAG0126For those of us on the more active side of the faith, the lights are, of course, about something all the richer. Jesus, light of the world, is among us. He is the light in the darkness, as John tells us (1:5). What better time than our longest nights to understand that message? Our Christmas lights remind us what light can do. Kind of sacramental, isn’t it? Come, Lord Jesus!

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Photos: John Feister

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."