As I began to write this article for the January Interim, I once again was reminded of one of my favorite poems for this time of year titled, The Work of Christmas Begins by Michael Dougherty. It is a variation on Howard Thurman’s poem, When the Song of Angels is Stilled.
I realize that I have shared this poem with you in years past and I hope you don’t mind that I do so again this year. I never tire of it, as I spend time reflecting on the message it has for us all at this moment in time. It serves as a reminder that every day throughout the year, the work we do — striving to live our SSJ charism and mission by reaching out to the dear neighbor without distinction —is the work of Christmas. This work is what makes the SSJ Mission Possible!
The Work of Christmas Begins
When the carols have been stilled,
When the star-topped tree is taken down,
When the family and friends are gone home,
When we are back to our schedules,
The work of Christmas begins:
To welcome the refugee,
To heal a broken planet,
To feed the hungry,
To build bridges of trust not walls of fear,
To share our gifts,
To seek justice and peace for all people,
To bring Christ’s light to the world.