|Bridge to Ordinary Time
With some regret we have taken down the Christmas lights, packed away the ornaments, and are already into 2016 with all its challenges and hopes. The feast of the Baptism of Jesus closes the Christmas Season and opens the door to Ordinary Time, “ordinary” only because it is a time between two significant liturgical seasons, Christmas and Lent/Easter. Somehow, “ordinary” sounds like most of our lives, moving along with its joys and sadness, delight and disappointments, hopes and fears, but without great drama. Let’s remember that Jesus spent most of his life in “ordinary time.”
The last we read about Jesus in the Gospel of Luke he was lost and found in the Temple, then returned to Nazareth with his parents. He was twelve years old. Now he reappears at age thirty being baptized by John in the Jordan. We know nothing about those 18 years when Jesus grew into adolescence and adulthood. We do know that at his baptism, a voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” God affirms the way Jesus matured in wisdom and grace during those 18 ordinary years. Now he is ready to begin his mission.
Most of us (I won’t presume to say “all”) have not had visitations from an angel or heard a voice from heaven; yet I sometimes breathe a “thank you” to my angel for protecting me from a maniac on the highway or from a stupid decision, and we do need to hear God saying to us, “In you I am well pleased.” So bring on Ordinary Time. We ordinary/extraordinary women and men welcome another year, another opportunity to continue the mission of Jesus to bring some light, some hope, some peace with justice into God’s most extraordinary world.
Sr. Marie Lucey
FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations
We pray with gratitude for the blessings of the Christmas Season and with hope for Ordinary Time, Let us pray…
We pray for renewed strength and commitment to continue the mission of Christ on Earth, Let us pray…
|Prayer by St. Augustine of Hippo
God, our true life, to know you is life,
to serve you is freedom, to enjoy you is a kingdom,
to praise you is the joy and happiness of the soul.
I praise and bless and adore and thank and glorify you.
I beg you to live with me, to reign in me,
to make this heart of mine a holy temple,
a fit habitation for your divine majesty.
|FAN is Three Weeks from taking a Second Polar Bear Plunge
|Patrick Carolan, left, at the 2015 Polar Bear Plunge
In just three weeks, FAN’s own Patrick Carolan, Rhett Engelking and Fr. Jacek Orzechowski will be jumping into the icy waters of the Potomac River to promote climate change advocacy.
FAN joins Chesapeake Climate Action Network‘s 11th Annual Polar Bear Plunge in raising funds for advocacy and calling for protection of the Chesapeake Bay.
By supporting the plunge on January 23rd, you’ll help CCAN and FAN continue to fulfill our joint missions of educating and mobilizing citizens in Maryland, Virginia, DC and beyond to take concrete steps towards a more sustainable future.
Proceeds will be split between the two organizations. You can donate on our Polar Bear Plunge fundraising page and please be as generous as you can. If you’d like to support FAN directly you can make a donation on our website.
You can view pictures from the 2015 event here. This
|FAN Excited to Bring you a Preview of Sultan and the Saint
In 2016, under the banner of Peace Making, FAN will be working together with Muslim leaders to educate people on Islam using the story of St. Francis visiting the Sultan al-Kamil.
This joint project between United Productions Foundation (UPF) and FAN is a film about two men in the 13th century who risked everything to promote peace. FAN is very excited to bring you this short preview on the “Sultan and the Saint.”
With behind-the-scenes looks at previous films produced by UPF, the trailer gives an overview of how the movie is being made and what work and planning goes in to a project of this scale.
Take a few minutes to watch this trailer and share it with your networks. We are excited to help bring this story that “embodies what is best and most holy about inter-religious encounters” to life. We hope this narrative of faith and peace against a backdrop of epic war will help bring Muslims and Christians together.
|Pope’s Message for 2016 World Day of Migrants and Refugees
The theme for the 2016 World Day of Migrants and Refugees on January 17, 2016 is “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us: The Response of the Gospel of Mercy.”
In advance of the day, Pope Francis released the Message of the Holy Father for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. While observing that many migrants are fleeing violence and poverty, the Holy Father expressed concern that migrants who survive exploitation by human traffickers and others then encounter suspicion and fear from native-born communities in their new lands. The Pope noted that many countries have no structure in place to facilitate the integration of migrants and refugees into their societies. Pope Francis stated that accepting migrants and refugees is a challenge to be merciful, and said, “Welcoming others is welcoming God in person!”
Read the full message online.