Orthoscopy
Newsletter #15
Deacon Joe Hulway
December 11, 2009
Jesus Asked:
“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip?...How can you say,
'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”
(John 14:9-10)
We often have a lot of questions we would like to ask Jesus, but in the gospels we can also reflect on a lot of the
questions that Jesus asks of others, and indirectly of us. Jesus has just finished telling the disciples:
“If you know me,
then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
But still Philip asks:
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

How often are we like poor Philip? We constantly ask questions and want additional information, but don’t stop and listen
to the knowledge we have already been given. How long have we claimed to be followers of Christ and yet act as if we do
not know Him? We look forward, or at least we should, to the day when we will see God face-to-face. Jesus tells us in the
Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” It is clearly something we should strive for. But as
Jesus told Philip and the disciples, we need only strive to know and see Jesus and we will also automatically know and
see the Father. It reminds me of the Christmas song,
Mary, Did You Know, made famous by Kenny Rogers. The one
line says of Mary:
“When you kiss your little Baby you’ve kissed the face of God.”

This season of Advent is a time of preparation to see the face of God. It is a time to try to know Jesus better so we will be
much better to disposed to celebrate His birthday. And if we truly know Jesus, we will see His face in all of our brothers
and sisters in the world. It’s a good test. If we cannot love our neighbors, then we don’t truly know and love God. There is
a song by Chris Rice that we play occasionally for our youth group, especially during Eucharistic holy hours as they gaze
upon Jesus present in the monstrance. The name of the song, appropriately enough, is the
Face of Christ. (I found a
couple of video versions on the Internet that people put together to the song.
Click to see one of them.) Here are the
lyrics:

    Face of Christ, by Chris Rice

    He shares a room outside with a dozen other guys
    And the only roof he knows is that sometimes starry sky
    A tattered sleeping bag on a concrete slab is his bed
    And it’s too cold to talk tonight
    So I just sit with him instead and think

    How did I find myself in a better place
    I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
    ‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
    I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
    With the face of Christ

    After sixteen years in a cold, gray prison yard
    Somehow his heart is soft, but keeping simple faith is hard
    He lays his Bible open on the table next to me
    And as I hear his humble prayer
    I feel his longing to be free someday

    How did I find myself in a better place
    I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
    ‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
    I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
    With the face of Christ

    See you had no choice which day you would be born
    Or the color of your skin, or what planet you’d be on
    Would your mind be strong, would your eyes be blue or brown
    Whether daddy would be rich, or if momma stuck around at all

    So if you find yourself in a better place
    You can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
    You gotta stoop down low, look him square in the eye
    And get a funny feeling, ‘cause you might be dealing ...

    How did I find myself in a better place
    I can’t look down on the frown on the other guy’s face
    ‘Cause when I stoop down low, look him square in the eye
    I get a funny feeling, I just might be dealing
    With the face of Christ

    With the face of Christ, yeah

    With the face of Christ

Use what is left of this Advent season wisely and productively. See the face of Christ in all those you meet. You will know
Christ and His love much better and you will also be prepared to see the face of God on that day when He calls you
home.
What’s New?
No one has complained, but it strikes me that the font in this newsletter has been a little too small. And so, I have
bumped it up a notch this month. Maybe it's just because I need new glasses. I went for my eye exam this morning; my
last one before my GM subsidized vision plan expires at the end of the year. (I was at the dentist on Wednesday.)

As I discussed in the previous section we are in Advent, preparing for Christmas. It is always a special time of year with
family and friends, and this year it is even more special with the two oldest granddaughters living close by and two new
grandchildren to enjoy. Sometimes we can get so caught up with all the pressures and stresses of getting ready for the
Holidays that we lose sight of what is really important. I received an interesting email with a paraphrased version of 1
Corinthians 13. You may have already received it among your many emails as well. Here it is in case you haven't:

    1 Corinthians 13, Christmas Version


    If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shining balls, but do not show
    love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

    If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging
    a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

    If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show
    love to my family, it profits me nothing.

    If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crystal snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and
    sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

    Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

    Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

    Love is kind, though harried and tired.

    Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

    Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

    Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    Love never fails.

    Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.

    But giving the gift of love will endure.

This time of Advent is also a time to give Our Blessed Mother special honor and thanks for cooperating with God's will
and becoming the mother of our Savior. Earlier this week we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. At the
Annunciation, the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary:
"Hail Mary, full of grace." Mary was full of grace. The Church teaches
that Mary was redeemed from the moment of her conception. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared infallibly:
"The most
Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and
by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."
Christ
is the new Adam.
"For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,... So, too, it is written,
'The first man, Adam, became a living being,' the last Adam a life-giving spirit."
(1 Cor. 15:22,45) But Mary is
considered the new Eve. Here is an excerpt from an interesting sermon by St. Anselm:

    "The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could
    create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary. God, then, is the Father of the
    created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life,
    and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things
    were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God's Son, nothing could exist;
    without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed." (emphasis added)

One Christmas tradition that Jenni and I have been very remiss about is the sending of greeting cards. It's due mainly to
our mutual strong procrastination tendencies. The downside is that we have lost touch with many old friends, who, as
would be expected, no longer send us greeting cards either. This I regret. But I would like to extend to all of you and your
families a very merry, peaceful, joyful, and Christ-filled Christmas. To assist me with this greeting, I would like to borrow a
tradition from my in-laws. When my mother-in-law was still alive, she and my father-in-law would go to the card shop
together on special occasions, such as their anniversary. They would look at the cards individually and find the card that
was perfect for the other. They would then exchange the cards in the store, read them, and then place them back in the
rack and go merrily upon their way. Commercialism wasn't going to interfere with their celebration. And so, below is the
card I would send you if I sent cards. It is a handmade card produced by the poor in Haiti, and other poor countries of
the Caribbean, and distributed by Food for the Poor, one of my favorite charities. The images on the cards are made
with banana bark; each one is unique. I feel a little guilty for not patronizing them and buying more cards, but at least,
the money I save in postage will allow the donation I send them to be slightly larger. If you would like to buy cards for the
future (they have more than just Christmas cards) or make a contribution to them as well, their website is: www.
foodforthepoor.org.
Homilies and Bulletin Articles
There are five new homilies posted at the website.

Smooth and Level Paths
2nd Sunday of Advent
December 6, 2009

Do Not Become Drowsy
1st Sunday of Advent
November 29, 2009

What is Truth?
34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Solemnity of Christ the King)
November 22, 2009

Your Mother Wears Combat Boots
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 15, 2009

Go "All In" for Jesus
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 8, 2009

And one new bulletin article:

What is the difference between the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Blessed Virgin Mother Mary? Are they the
same person?
Status of the Book
The design of the cover and the interior layout are both scheduled for the month of January, 2010. There was an
unexpected delay, but hopefully everything has been resolved. Early in February, God willing, I will be able to order
books for gifts and personal sales even though the official release will be another three months away.