From The Connections:

The Magi at 40,000 feet
On Christmas morning, a single mom and her two sons, ages 14 and 12, boarded a plane in Atlanta.  They were heading to San Diego to spend Christmas with friends.
Another single mother boarded the same flight, wrangling two small boys, ages 2 and 3.  The older boy was wearing a ”halo” neck brace to immobilize his head and spine.  They took their seats two rows behind the first family.  The younger child sat on her lap, and the boy in the halo took the middle seat — next to a man with a look of unmitigated dread.  Both toddlers immediately started screaming.  The boy in the halo wanted no part of the seat belt and the other didn’t want to sit on his mother’s lap. 
The first mom knew what the toddlers’ mom was going through.  Once the plane was in the air, she got up and offered her seat to the ashen-faced man near the window.  He looked spectacularly relieved.  She took his place and offered the mom an extra pair of hands.  For the next four hours she read Dr. Seuss, walked up and down the aisle with the boys, amused them with hand puppets, changed diapers, doled out Goldfish crackers and bottles.

New Year

1. Did you know that New Year's Day is the one holiday that is almost universal? It is the world's most observed holiday.  
I trust you've made your New Year's resolutions one of which is to be in worship each week. Well done for this first Sunday. I won't ask you if you've resolved to lose the weight you gained between Thanksgiving and Christmas, or if you're planning on joining a health club, or if you're going to run five miles a day. Five miles, by the way, is my total aggregate of a lifetime of running.

Holy Family C

Once upon a time there was this young man, Peter Patrick, who could hardly wait to go off to college. Starting half way through his junior year in high school, he decided that his family was ruining his life, almost every day. His father was a tyrant who didn’t know what it was like to be a teenager. His mother was a crab. His younger sister was a spy. His younger brother like a total dork – and a nuisance too. The summer before he want to college was sheer agony. He’d learned in one of his classes that some guy – he thought it was probably a German – said that Hell is other people. The guy was certainly right. Hell in fact is your family especially when you’re young.

Christmas C

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading the prophet Isaiah prophesies that the northern kingdom of Israel, which had been destroyed would be liberated and its inhabitants would be set free when the Messiah comes. But their liberator would not be a mighty warrior but a little child. God’s ways are not our ways! This little child is God’s answer to man’s needs. A surprising answer but full of promise; this child has many titles foremost among them will be ‘Prince of Peace’.

Advent 4 C

1. Two Kids on an anti-Christmas Campaign

The big celebration begins, a festival of light and love, of joy and laughter, of family and community and world. Light is mentioned almost twenty times in the course of today's liturgy. On one of the darkest days of the year, light explodes all around us. The sun is sneaking back, just as Jesus kind of sneaked into the world in the quiet of Bethlehem.  

Advent 3 C

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading the prophet Zephaniah invites the Israelites to shout for joy: “Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord has repealed your sentence. The King of Israel is in your midst; you have nothing to fear.” Christianity is a religion of Joy and if we are not happy Christians there is something wrong with our faith. Even when there is nothing in particular to rejoice about in our own lives, we can still rejoice that the Lord has been good to our fellow human beings, to our community, to our world. Those who seek will always discover the marvels the Lord has done and is doing for us. We rejoice because the Lord himself rejoices over us. We are his beloved in whom he is well pleased.

Advent 2 C

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In the first reading the prophet Baruch admonishes the people to take off their garments of mourning and put on festive ones because God will reveal himself in their midst. The people thought God had abandoned them because of their infidelities. Baruch tells his people, “Arise Jerusalem and turn your eyes to the east, be jubilant because God has remembered his people.” God has decreed the flattening of every high mountain, the filling of the valleys to make level ground so that Israel can walk in safety. We on our own may find mountains of obstacles, but He will help us to overcome every barrier because He is our God, with us and for us.