Sunday, December 22, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

We are still in Advent, and yet we hear the story of the birth of Jesus today. Doesn’t this spoil the event on the 25th of December? Aren’t we a little bit premature? Why can’t we wait?

Or is this preparation carefully and strategically planned so that we walk into the feast on Dec. 25 with our "eyes wide open," leaving little chance to miss the significance of this great event? In other words, this Sunday prepares us well.

With Matthew we note: "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about." We all know the story. We don’t really find surprises even in the details. We can even say that this story is, after 2,000 years of telling it, a part of us. We are, in a manner of speaking, Christmas people. We long to share in the retelling of the birth of Christ. We even go so far as to say we want Christ to be born in us.

We are not looking for surprises. We are looking for familiarity. We are looking for connection and integration. We want this story to fill us with peace — the prince of peace. We want Christmas to help us long for the promises and fulfillment that come to us when Christ gently and powerfully (at the same time) fills our lives, our hopes, our spirit, our souls. After all, we proclaim him "Emmanuel" — "God is with us"!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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