From the Bishop’s Wife

Watched the Bishop’s Wife two nights ago for the first time this season. It won’t be the last time!

This post from my blog dated Dec. 1, 2007 contains the sermon delivered at the end of the movie:

Tonight, I want to tell you about the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear there was a child’s cry. A blazing star hung over a stable, and Wise Men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down through the ages. We celebrate it with a star hung on a Christmas tree and a cry of bells and gifts, especially with gifts. We bind them and wrap them, and we put them under the tree. You give me a tie, I give you a book, Aunt Martha always wanted an orange squeezer, Uncle Harry could use a new pipe, oh, we haven’t forgotten anyone, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one, and we have even forgotten to hang it up! The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we are celebrating, you know. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most, and then let each of us put in his share – loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand – all the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

What kind of gift can we offer to our Lord during this season? I’m going to think about it.

I think the Church was wise to back away from the “second Lent” characteristic of Advent (see last post), but I certainly do think some penance must be involved in this season.