December 25, 2017
Christmas is a time when we see lots of angels on Christmas cards, trees, in stores, nativity sets and many other places. God has a secret plan in everything we do in this life, but he generally reveals the truth only to the humble.
I had a very good friend named Jean who always, always talked about angels, especially her angels. It was almost as if she conversed with and saw them frequently. Who knows? At that time, I belonged to the largest Catholic Charismatic Community in the nation at Loyola Marymount University in L.A. Later, after moving away, we kept in touch; she came to my first Mass and always gave the hidden angels a plug!
She died shortly after my ordination and I celebrated one of the English Masses for her one Sunday shortly after her passing. Imagine my surprise when two (huge – 1 yard tall) identical angel pictures were waiting for me to bless them…from two different families (who did not know each other). I had talked about Jean and her angels and this particular picture during the homily. Somehow Jean (or God!) sent these pictures, a reminder of the unseen world around us all, and that God can arrange everything for us if we allow him to do so, and that my friend Jean knew the Mass was for her!
God really does have a secret plan for this world and your life! Part of it is not a secret at all – we find it written in the Bible – but so many have not heard this good news or choose to reject or ignore it. Why does God hide himself so well?
Christmas, for example, is what you wish it to be. We can buy into the lie that Christmas is all about decorating and frantically buying things, or we can realize that it is all about family—yours—and Christ’s! We are being invited into his family. Those who made room for a good confession this last month – and we had many opportunities to do that here—found their hidden God waiting to forgive them sacramentally!
Jesus chose to be born to a poor couple in an obscure, out of the way place – a cave, but look at those who found him! Shepherds did (after being visited by angels), and pagan wise men did (they were humble enough to ask directions), but Herod, who was arrogant, did not. God has a hidden plan in your life, and he wants you to find him. He will be hidden in many places, many disguises: in the Eucharist, the scriptures, other people, strange coincidences the angels often have a role in, and especially, in a cave in your heart!