Today’s post features Pax Christi USA’s Advent/Christmas 2017 reflection booklet, The Work of God’s Hands. It was co-written by Bondings 2.0‘s Associate Editor Robert Shine, along with Pax Christi USA’s Communications Director Rachel Schmidt. LGBT issues are among the many contemporary justice issues addressed in the booklet. (Shine is also a member of Pax Christi USA’s National Council.) The sample reflection on radical hospitality below is based on the Scripture readings for Christmas Day (Isaiah 9:1-6; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14).
“‘There was no room for them.’ (Luke 2:7)
“Jesus knew exclusion from the beginning. The innkeeper’s refusal begins a journey that ends with Jesus on the Cross, abandoned by nearly all who claimed to love him. It is no different today when so many doors are closed to Christ. There is simply no room for refugees or families experiencing homelessness, nor are spaces accessible if someone has a disability, lacks health insurance, or whose gender identity does not fit into neat categories. Exclusion, driven by fear, is a powerful enemy that even afflicts Jesus, the Son of God.
“Throughout Advent, we prepared to receive this child for whom the world has no room by making room in our lives. Today and through the Christmas season, we rightly celebrate. How stunning that God would come to dwell with us! What a beautiful mystery the Incarnation is! When this season concludes, however, the world will still have no room for Christ. Wars will endure, and the victims they create will face bombed out hospitals and closed borders. Prejudice will keep communities of color and queer folk away from the centers of power.
“Jesus’ birth reminds us that discipleship is a movement to the peripheries in growing solidarity with those people who are forced to them. Jesus’ birth also reminds us that the peripheries are blessed. When Christ comes again, the center will be hollowed. Worldly power expelled, God will be centered and draw the peripheries inward toward Herself. The world makes little room for Christ, but there are infinite reasons to celebrate confidently, for God is now with us and all are welcome!
“How is the Christ Child urging me to practice radical hospitality in my life?”
There are a limited number of print booklets still available, and an option to purchase an e-book. Both options are $3.50 per booklet. For more information or to place an order, click here.
Bondings 2.0 will have its own series of Advent reflections each Sunday focusing on the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through a Catholic lens. To receive those reflections and more daily updates on Catholic LGBT issues, enter your e-mail address in the “Subscribe” box at the upper right-hand corner of this page.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, November 19, 2017