We all have a story. For families, the story includes those of parents, children, and the ones we love, living life intertwined, each person affected, for better or for worse, by the joys, sorrows, and choices of those whose stories touch ours.
Many years ago, when I worked as head staff writer for our diocesan paper, I received an unexpected phone call from the chancellor of the diocese.
Ten years after my friend Pat and I walked 350 miles of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across northern Spain, we sat at her dining table and laughed about the vigorous women we were then — and how much our lives had changed.
Once a famous churchman had an idea. He would begin a new kind of evangelization, calling on others to join him in reaching out to fallen away Catholics. They would go to the marketplaces to speak to the people who had become alienated from the faith. Not just their words but the quality of their lives would convince the disheartened of God’s love for them. Who was this churchman? Blessed Paul VI? St. John Paul II? No, he lived in the Middle Ages and founded what is still officially the “Order of Friars Preachers.” He is St. Dominic Guzman.
The Gospel stories about the birth of Jesus are not a simple retelling of the events that took place then, at the stable in Bethlehem. In his commentaries on the birth of Jesus, the renowned scripture scholar, Raymond Brown, highlights that these narratives were written long after Jesus had already been crucified and had risen from the dead and that they are colored by what his death and resurrection mean.