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Sunday, December 25, 2011

This Holiday Season let us share and bring JOY to those that have LESS.

The birth of Jesus is recorded and from all the facts we can gather Jesus, his mother Mary, and Joseph had no place to go but this cave - where Jesus was born.

Jesus who we Christians call our Savior was born poor, lived poor, and was killed on the Cross with barely his loins - covered. Jesus died so that we all may be made whole.

Jesus was born in Summer when the skies were clear - and the MAGI the men who studied the skies and had much wisdom - sought the place where this great child that was born - guided by the stars and brought him the best gift they could offer.

This holiday season is a season for giving and sharing - not spending for the sake of spending and for sure not being materialistic.

Let me share with you the story of the CRIB.

When I was a boy - I would always create a crib and make it as natural as I could. There was Jesus, his Mother Mary, Joseph and the shepherds.

The animals a mule, a cow, camels outside the crib, some sheep inside the crib. The crib had hay and it was simple and it filled my heart when those that came to see the CRIB - said good things.

The CRIB originated in Italy in a small village called Creccio. It was the home town of St Francis of Assisi - yes, our patron Saint after which San Francisco is named.

Saint Francis of Assisi when to Rome to speak to the Pope and told him of this idea he had - and the Pope blessed him and gave him his blessing to go ahead - build a crib and spread his idea of propagating the idea about the humble birth of Jesus Christ and spirit of Christmas.

Christmas EVE 1223 in the village of Creccio in Italy - Saint Francis of Assisi had his fellow Brothers built the CRIB and invite everyone from the village and surrounding villages to witness what the Franciscan Brothers had created.

Saint Francis of Assisi was a deacon, he never took the vows of a priest - he was always humble, in  humility he liked being a deacon - always serving - always giving - much like the Franciscans at St Anthony's here in San Francisco - serving thousands daily - those in need - be it adults or families.

The villagers came when the clarion call was given to the town of CRECCIO.

The humble Saint - Saint Francis of Assisi preached and his sermon was well received. Basically it was to be humble, to share, to witness the humble surrounding of this CRIB that was built, and get some inspiration from the surroundings where Our Lord Jesus Christ was born.

Thus began the custom of putting up a Crib every Christmas eve - where folks would gather and sing Christmas Carols. Where food was served to the poor - where act of giving and being humble were practiced.

There were no shopping malls where thousands of dollars worth of gifts were bought - the filthy rich vying with the poor - each competing to be materialistic - with the rich making more money at the expense of the poor.

Our City of San Francisco is a great City - but today it pains my heart to see so many poor on the streets on San Francisco.

This economic with the larger financial institution and the likes of J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, the banks Wells Fargo, the Bank of America - others all dubious in nature - have with intent used ploys like sub-prime loans, derivatives to destroy our economy and what is worse - exported it all over the world and caused turmoil.

When Christians first came together they shared all they had. They helped one another. In the early days Christians stayed behind to help those that needed help - they did this when there were plagues and everyone left. Their loved to help and share - drew the attention of those that persecuted them. That is what Christianity is all about.

Christ ever envisaged the Church becoming so rich. Never envisaged pedophiles destroying what was good
and ruining the moral standards that most God fearing - good Christians stand for.

Jesus once went to the temple to pray and what he saw he did not like. The traders and money lenders where doing their business - and Jesus got angry and toppled the tables - and he said to those that were abusing the place of worship - " to not make this house of prayer a market place".

We must learn - those of us who are Christians - not to fall prey to the ONE percent that make money on this day of Christmas and months before Christmas - on the backs of the working - poor.

Soon after Thanksgiving the stores begin to advertise and pander to those that are shallow, lack spirituality, and seek instant satisfaction. Good Christians  must shun such sordid ways - and seek strength and solace  in practicing  -  fortitude, charity, sacrifice with love.

This year for the first time the poor - many of them working women and men with children in the hundreds in San Francisco have no roof over their heads.

Families are sleeping on the streets - and St Anthony's, St Vincent de Poor, and other charitable organizations there are long lines - waiting to fed, waiting to be helped - these few good organizations are doing their best. God Bless Them All.

Jesus said and it is written in the gospels: " It is easier for a camel to enter the EYE of a needle - than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven".

This Christmas season - and every Christmas season we must fine tune our moral compass - seek the best for everyone - and take those on this short journey to a better place.

Happy Holidays - it was a pleasure working with you all and thanks to the many that support me in the work I do - representing.

May you all enjoy peace of mind and good health.