“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.”

This modification of the often-used African proverb is the driving force of the recently awarded film, Spotlight, a movie that tells the story of the The Boston Globe investigative reporters that broke the story about the priest abuse crisis of the Catholic Church in 2002. While the movie obviously centers around the major legal and ethical violations of the Catholic Church—the repeated abuse of children by some priests and the subsequent coverup by some bishops—the movie indicts more than just the priests and bishops of the Catholic Church: it indicts everyone. “How could this have happened without anyone knowing?” the movie asks. It couldn’t. And it didn’t. While priests were abusing children and bishops were covering up their misdeeds, there were police officers overlooking misconduct, judges refusing to hear cases, defense lawyers profiting from settlements, reporters failing to do investigations, and a whole city of neighbors, parishioners and family members discouraging victims from coming forward because they couldn’t bear the embarrassment. Beyond the terrible deeds of the actual abusers, there was a system in place that prevented victims from receiving the justice they deserved.

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.”

What I think the movie very powerfully points out, and what I mean to say in writing this post, is that this “crisis” is not something that involves only those who abuse and those who have been abused. We live in and support a culture that allows for this to happen, even still.

An example.

One night, I met some people at of one of our ministry sites. Besides the adult parishioners, there were also about six minors in the building with us that night, all either children of the adults present or friends that had come with the adults. There was no problem with the situation, neither from a legal or diocesan standpoint. As we were finishing up, though, all of the adults gathered their children and began to leave. “Hey Br. Casey, (child’s name) said his mom is on the way. Would you mind waiting with him until she arrives?” On the surface, and from the parent’s perspective, it was a natural, harmless question; he didn’t want the child to be left alone and he trusted me enough to leave the child in my care. In reality, though, this was a major misstep, a violation of diocesan rules, and the sort of question that puts children (and people like me) at tremendous risk. Given all that has happened, and all that continues to happen to children in schools, churches, and activity centers, what he was asking was basically: “Would you mind remaining with this unaccompanied minor, inside a building with no windows, on a property with no one else around, at night?” Um, yes, I most certainly do mind.

In telling this story, I don’t mean to vilify this parent; he was a nice guy and his actions were not malicious in the slightest bit. But that’s the problem: one doesn’t have to be malicious to be complicit in something terrible. Yes, it was the priests (and many others) that did the abusing, but there were also countless parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors that trusted without question, put children in unsafe situations, and failed to see the signs after an abuse had taken place.

This may seem like a defense of or deflection from the priests and bishops who committed terrible crimes against defenseless children. I assure you it is not. What they did, especially considering their office, expectation of a higher standard, and power they held over their victims, both emotionally and spiritually, is not something that can ever be overlooked or excused. Spotlight does not hold back about what it thinks of these institutional actions of the Church and neither do I. The fact that even today, after years in the public eye, bishops and priests are still eluding criminal trials because they were moved to another position in another country, a “promotion” as it were, is absolutely detestable.

What I write is not a defense of or deflection from the priests and bishops who committed terrible crimes against defenseless children, but rather a call to action for all of those who didn’t. While some may have lamented the idea of such a movie like Spotlight, fearfully asking, “When will this just go away?”, I applaud it. Using a powerful and popular medium, at the quality worthy of attention and awards, this film reminded us that the reason this won’t “just go away” is because we still have work to do. That’s right: weWe need to continue to push the issue in our Church communities so that bishops and priests are held accountable for what they’ve done. We need to be humble enough, like the journalists in the movie, to recognize when we have failed to protect children and were complicit in what happened. We need to make sure that we set up, and follow, protocols that will prevent things like this from ever happening again.

I think Spotlight got it exactly right: “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.” What happened was the result of many problems coming together. But now we can act differently. Now we can change the story for the children of today and tomorrow. I say, “If it takes a village to raise I child, it’s takes a village to keep that child safe.”

Today’s Gospel reading at mass was the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). What I offer to you is the reflection that I gave to my brothers in formation this evening.

“I didn’t do anything.”

That’s what I said to the principal when I was called into her office in 4th grade. (I’m not entirely sure if my parents actually know about this story… so… surprise!) You see, there was a kid in my class that no one really liked. He was loud and immature, often dressed inappropriately and had bad hygiene, and was known for acting out,  bullying others, and saying inappropriate things to the girls. He was a bully that no one liked… a very bad combination.

One day, things boiled over. At morning recess, he apparently touched one of the girls in our class and said something to her, and my friends didn’t like that. Enough was enough. They planned to teach him a lesson. At lunch recess, they were going to corner him and “beat him up” as they said. When lunch came, we all went out to recess, and three of the guys in my class started pushing him, calling him names. I think one of them even kicked him.

The kid didn’t sustain any major injuries, just a scraped knee and a scratch on his eye,  but it was a big deal in the school. The three students who had orchestrated the whole thing were called into the principal’s office, but so was I and a few other students. “I didn’t do anything,” I said. “It was ____ and _____ and _____. They were the ones who beat him up. I did not even touch him.”

In my mind, I was innocent. My principal didn’t think so. As she saw it, I knew something bad was going to happen, but I didn’t stop it. Why didn’t I say something? Why didn’t I intervene? Why didn’t I help him? Even though he was weird, even though he might have even brought it on himself, even though I may have suffered a bit myself for defending him, no one deserves to be treated that way. I had the power to do something, but didn’t do anything.

In our Gospel passage today, the rich man finds himself in a similar situation. No doubt shocked to find himself in a place of torment while Lazarus is in the place of honor, you can almost hear him say, “But I didn’t do anything. I didn’t make him poor. I didn’t steal from him. I didn’t make him unclean.” And maybe he didn’t. But just like me in the fourth grade, the rich man knew Lazarus. He knew that he was suffering. I mean, cmon, he was lying at his door! He probably needed to step over him to go out! Even though Lazarus was not the most desirable person in town, even though he was probably unclean and the rich man may have suffered for helping him, no one deserves to be treated that way. The rich man had the power to do something, but didn’t do anything.

I think that is what’s so powerful for us to remember today: Not doing anything is not amoral. Doing nothing does not free us from guilt; in life, there is no “pass”; we can’t just opt out of acting… even doing nothing is something. It’s why in the confiteor, the act of contrition we say at mass, we pray for God to forgive the sins of “What I have done, and what I have failed to do.” Sometimes, what we don’t do can have a tremendous effect on others, and can absolutely be sinful.

It doesn’t take much to see so in our world. When we look at the world’s problems, global epidemics of poverty, climate change, human trafficking, and so on, it’s easy for us to say, “Well I didn’t do that.” And maybe we didn’t (I think we are complicit in much more than we realize, but that’s for another post). But what we often don’t realize is that we are in a position of privilege. If you are able to read this post, it’s likely that you find yourself among the wealthiest 25% in the world. Wealth. Education. Civil liberties. Social status. Even just the knowledge that there are problems in the world that need fixing and the time to think about them is a privilege. In so many situations, we are the rich man facing Lazarus each day.

But it happens much closer to home. What about our friends and families. Here in this house as brothers. We often know what our brothers are going through. We know that they need help at times. Sometimes, it can be very easy, especially if it’s a brother that we don’t particularly like or even annoys us, to write them off and say, “He brought it on themselves” or “He’s not my responsibility,” or “I didn’t do anything.” And likely we didn’t. But that’s not what’s important here: there is a situation in which we are able to do something to build up the kingdom of God.

Because, in the end, whether it’s our brother, Lazarus, or that poor boy in my 4th grade class, it is not up to us to determine who is worthy and who is not. It is not us that grants dignity, and so it is not up to us to decide who we should care for and who we shouldn’t. We may face a lot of people in need in our life, a lot of which are very difficult to be around—you might even think about some people in this room. Who knows. One day, though, we will have to answer to Jesus for what we did and what we did not do. On that day, will we be able to say that we did something for our brothers and sisters in need, or will we be left with nothing to say except, “I didn’t do anything”?

There are few speeches more memorable than Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. There are few moments more memorable the 1963 March on Washington in which more than 200,000 people gathered in support of civil rights for all people. Today, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we remember and celebrate a pioneer, an American hero, and a prophet to our world.

I do not use this final characterization lightly. While the word “prophet” and “being prophetic” get thrown around today to designate anyone who is counter-cultural or revolutionary, I mean to call Dr. King a prophet with all of the weight it used to bear, a prophet in the Old Testament sense of the word.

Dr. King saw the world with God’s eyes Being “prophetic,” in the Old Testament sense, is not a matter of predicting the future as much as it is seeing the present with the clarity of God’s vision. Prophets see the world not as human beings do, blinded by sinfulness and focused only on the “what is,” they see the world as God does, taking in the whole picture to know “what should be.” The prophet’s eyes are sensitive to injustice, maltreatment, division because s/he knows that these are not of the Kingdom.

Dr. King did not just see a world that was, he saw a world that could and should be. Like a prophet of God, there was a severe disconnect from what he saw—institutional racism—and the world that God had created. While his contemporaries in the clergy were blind to issues of the day, some even calling his words and actions, “unwise and untimely,” Dr. King saw that God desired something more. God desired justice.

Courage to speak truth to power But prophets are not just those who know that the world is far the Kingdom of God, they are the ones who have the courage to proclaim God’s Kingdom to those causing division and those who do not want to hear. Think of what it must have been like to be Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Amos. They lived in a world ruled by the sword without any rights of free speech. They did not speak with the backing of a political party or non-profit… they spoke with only the support of God’s Word.

Dr. King certainly did not speak alone, but given the climate of race relations in the country in his life, and given the places where he spoke, his situation was not all that different. Birmingham was not exactly a place where African-Americans were treated fairly under the law; Montgomery was not exactly a place where African-Americans possessed political control; Memphis (the place where he was eventually assassinated), was not exactly a place where African-Americans were respected for their opinions. Dr. King did not hide from the issues, speaking about them from afar only to those for whom he would receive support. He went to the frontline of the issue and spoke truth to power as someone without power at all.

His medium was the message Simply challenging the status quo or calling for revolution does not make one a prophet, though. What separates the Old Testament prophets from those fighting for a cause is that they embodied God’s message in their lives; their lives were a messages in themselves. In preaching peace, they did not set fire to the homes of the soldiers. In preaching economic justice, they did not steal from the rich or hoard undue wealth to themselves. Guided by prayer and upright lives, they spoke with their words and their deeds to reveal God’s word to the nations.

And so it was with Dr. King. Having faced oppression, hatred, and injustice, no one would have batted an eye if he had advocated retaliation and retribution for sins committed against African-Americans. “Take to the streets! Throw the white man out of this city as they have thrown us out of their restaurants!” But he didn’t. Not even once. His message was of peace and justice and his medium was of peaceful protest. No matter how much violence he and his people endured, he never returned even a single violent word for he knew that peace was the answer and that actions were just as important as words.

We are all called to be prophets In Second Vatican council document Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church (which is the highest authoritative body in the Catholic Church), the Church reminds its people that all baptized people are, “in their own way made sharers in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly functions of Christ and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world” (LG 31). It is not the responsibility of the priests and bishops alone to carry out the work of Christ in the world, it is first and foremost the work of all baptized Christians. We are in this together by virtue of our one baptism in Christ and our oneness in God.

So what does that mean for us on this day of celebrating one of God’s prophets? Are we called to start a movement that will change the course of human history for the sake of building up the Kingdom of God, like Dr. King? Well… yes… some of us are. And there is hardly a shortage of issues right in front of us today. Thousands of unborn children are denied their dignity and discarded every year. Refugees from all around the world are seeking asylum but only find hatred and closed doors. Many of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters live in fear of job termination, violent words and actions, or even state-sanctioned executions because of their sexual orientation. The richest one percent of the world controls nearly 40% of the world’s wealth, more than the bottom 95% combined. These are not signs of God’s Kingdom, they are grave injustices of our own. As baptized Christians, it is our right and duty, like Dr. King, to be a prophet for a more justice and holy world.

Obviously, though, not all of us have been called or gifted in the way that Dr. King was, and so it’s a bit unfair to expect everyone to champion an enormous issue like he did. But that doesn’t free us from being prophetic in our own world, albeit on a much smaller scale. The way that we act, treat others, use out time and even spend our money can be prophetic. In our daily lives and interactions, do we build up the Kingdom of God or do we tear it down? Do we act as a mouthpiece for God or do we silence the Word in our midst? Simple things like putting away our phones and giving someone our full attention is prophetic in our world; stopping someone from sharing gossip and changing the subject to something more constructive is prophetic in our world; being conscious of the products we buy, the companies we support, and the amount of money we spend so as to better benefit the poor is tremendously prophetic in our world.

When I look back on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man that overcame injustice and oppression, spoke with courage and conviction, and eventually died for the cause that God had inspired in him, I am inspired to follow in his footsteps. I may never give a resounding speech or lead a march of hundreds of thousands, but I know that I am called just as he was to be a prophet in this world. It’s because of this that my prayer each day is not that I may accomplish great and wonderful things, but as my spiritual director taught me, “to be granted the eyes and ears of faith to see and hear the world as God does.” If we can do this, we will be like Dr. King in our own world, and what a world that would be.

04567_Christmas_nativity_scene_at_the_Franciscan_church_in_Sanok,_2010The so-called “Nativity Scene” is a staple this time of year. Found on the lawn of nearly every church and in the home of nearly every Christian, they can be big or small,  life-like or cartoonish, full of animals or simply Mary with her newborn child. Some churches even put on a “living nativity,” complete with costumes, live animals, and a crying baby. For many, it’s just not Christmas without a depiction of the birth of Jesus, and it’s amazing to see the level of creativity from one year to the next.

Overall, it’s a wonderful thing. There’s something about being able to experience the event for ourselves, to use our senses to capture all that the original scene must have been like, to make the story from the Bible come alive. It’s why Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene back in 1223 (trivia for you!) and why Christians have continued the tradition for 800 years.

And yet, there is something tragically lost in so many of our depictions, and I can’t help but wonder if we miss the true spirit of Christmas because of it. Yes, all nativity scenes capture gist of the story: Jesus was born to Mary outside because there was no room in the inn and was eventually visited by either three men bearing gifts (Matthew) or shepherds (Luke). And no, there’s nothing wrong with themes like “peace on earth,” joy, and giving to one another. But like so many Biblical stories, this one has become so familiar to us that our depictions of it are often white-washed and sterilized, glossing over the truly challenging parts of the story for something that makes us feel nice inside.

When we look at the Gospel accounts of the birth of our Lord, what we see is not a happy, feel-good moment, but rather an act that was provocative, controversial, and even upsetting to the religious elite of the time. The nativity scene is a sign of subversion and ultimate conversion.

Take the situation of Mary and Joseph in its context. When we look back on this situation with the eyes of faith and the privilege of history, we can call them the “Holy Family.” But to their contemporaries, especially the religious elite, there was nothing “holy” about them. Even though Joseph takes her into his home rather than exposing her, people had to have known that Joseph was not the father. Irregular marriage and child out of wedlock? Strike one. Embarking on their journey, they find themselves foreigners in a distant country. Immigrants? Strike two. And let’s not forget that this was hardly a wealthy family. They did not have a caravan of camels and servants, they did not stop at fancy places and dine with princes. Joseph and Mary were poor peasants with no political or religious power. In their world, they were essentially worthless to both the Jews and the Romans. Strike three.

And yet, this is the situation into which God is born. The creator of the universe, the King of Kings, was not born in a palace to a noble family. He was brought into this world by poor, seemingly-worthless immigrants in an irregular marriage.

Another powerful, yet mostly overlooked point, is the symbolic place of his birth:

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

To many, this simply continues the theme of his humble situation: Jesus was laid in the manger because Mary couldn’t afford a nice bed or crib. But it’s more than that. The problem is that most of us think we know what a manger is… but actually we don’t. A manger is not a synonym for crèche, has nothing to do with a barn, and is not a normal 1st century crib; a manger is a trough where animals eat. Seriously. In other words, “She wrapped the poor child and laid him the chafing dish.” An odd statement, to say the least. Sure, given the circumstances, it might have been the most comfortable and convenient place to lay a baby and Luke may have just been recounting the practical details. But I don’t think so. Of all the themes in his Gospel, nothing is more significant than the institution of the Eucharist from their table fellowship. Luke, even from the point of Jesus’ birth, is announcing Jesus as food for the world.

To us, that’s a nice little detail, a cool foreshadowing to things to come. We love the symbolism and it helps us understand who Jesus is for us. But for the people of his time, this was blasphemous. Eat what? Who does this person think he is? From the very beginning of the Gospel, Luke makes the message clear: Jesus is the way to salvation, not the law. To accept this and follow him meant stepping outside of the status quo, rejecting the practices and teachings of the religious elite of the day, and having the faith to follow a radical man who upset a lot of people.

Finally, no nativity scene would be complete without a few visitors. Whether we highlight the magi in Matthew or the shepherds in Luke, their presence is highly significant, and highly controversial. For now, though, I want to focus on Luke’s account of the sheep.

So the shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.

We’ve been so desensitized to the idea of shepherds that it seems normal. How could we have a nativity scene without a shepherd and a few cute sheep? It seems almost obvious to us. But to the people of the time, this would have been absolutely scandalized by them.

The whole issue is over ritual purity. For the Jews, certain things were clean and certain things were unclean, and exposing oneself to certain situations made one ritual impure, meaning they were excluded from the community and temple worship until they were ritually washed. Shepherds were very unclean. Not only did they spend their entire lives with livestock, no doubt encountering blood and other unclean substances, they were basically stuck in an institutional state of uncleanliness: as long as they remained a shepherd they were unclean, and if they took the time to enter the city to purify themselves, they would lose their flock. In Jesus’ time, shepherds were outcasts and undesirables, and they were not alone: for many, the law was a burden that inhibited community, created an entire class of people unfit for worship.

This is the situation that Jesus enters. These are the people that visit our Lord at the moment of his birth. It was not the chief priests or the ritually pure; it was not the most charitable or most liked; it was not the noble or important. The people connected to Jesus’ birth are the outcasts and unclean.

The savior of our world did not fit into religious categories, and was probably not regarded as important by the religious elite of his day. Think about what it means that  Jesus is the outcast and the unclean.

JoseyMariaWebTaken altogether, the birth of our Lord, captured in our nativity scenes, is a provocative, controversial, and downright upsetting symbol of our faith. His birth is yes, in a way, a sign of peace on earth and holy giving, but only if it is understood with an unmistakable sense of subversion. Jesus came to upset the religious and political systems of the day, to bring a new order contrary to what was expected.

As we look at own nativity scenes this time of year and glory in the birth of our Lord, my hope is that we may experience something more than a Hallmark moment. Recreating this scene as we do offers us an opportunity to see and feel how radically upending his birth really is, in his world, and in ours. It’s an opportunity to realize that, if our Lord were to be born today, many of us would not be among the outcasts or undesirables included in this scene, we might be among the religious elite, shocked by the blasphemy of it all, concerned with the ritual laws of our day, and unknowingly overlooking something quite extraordinary in our midst.

This Christmas, may we capture once again the true spirit of Christmas, that spirit that upholds the poor, welcomes the outcast, is open to conversion, and lives as a community gathered at table. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Not my problem. Do you ever have a situation thrown on you, find a mess somewhere, and just say those words? “Not my problem.” Clearly I did not cause it, this has nothing to do with me, I’m not getting involved. A few months ago I walked into a bathroom at our friary only to find baby powder all over the floor. True story. I took one look at the mess and just said, “Nope. Not my problem,” and decided to use the other bathroom. Another day, I opened up the drawer in the kitchen to find that someone had just dumped all the silverware instead of separating the forks, knives and spoons. I grabbed a spoon, shut the drawer, and said, “Not my problem.” #friarlife

Whether it’s a mess in the house or a frustrating situation at work, the not-my-problem approach is definitely a way to stay sane. As busy as we are, as many problems we have to deal with, it’s relieving to look at a situation and realize that we didn’t cause the it, it has nothing to do with us, and it’s not our battle to fight. Sometimes we just have to let people fix their own problems.

But to what extent?

Say your best friend comes to you for help, even though she didn’t take your advice, and is now in big trouble. Not my problem? Say your child comes to you at 8:00 at night with a science fair project due the next day and he hasn’t even started. Not my problem? Say a close relative calls at 2:00am, having just gotten into an accident because he was drinking and driving, and needs your help. Not my problem?

No matter how inconvenient and unrelated to our own actions, these situations, like it or not, are our problems. It is the responsibility we take on when we enter a relationship, live in society, and call ourselves Church.

It’s situations like these, those times when people bring us their problems and we just want to run from them, that remind me of St. Joseph. Often overlooked, Joseph’s contribution to the Christmas story in our Gospel reading yesterday is not only important to the life of Jesus, it is inspiration to our own situations. The way I see it, Joseph had three options:

1. He could have responded by divorcing Mary publicly, calling attention to her situation. This was probably the most common reaction, the one most people in his society would have expected him to do. He would have been justified by the law, and his reputation would have been held intact. “I did nothing wrong, God does not act in that way—Mary is a liar. Why should I help her? Not my problem.” No one would have faulted him for this option.

2. The second option, which he originally chose, was to divorce her privately so that she wouldn’t have to die. In this option, he runs the risk of losing his good reputation, even being subject to the law, but he lets her live. Maybe he believed what she said, but had some doubts. “It sounds peculiar what Mary told me, but if she is telling the truth, I don’t want to be against God so I’ll let her live and wait and see if she was telling the truth.” Joseph is a “nice guy” to let her live…but he also doesn’t put himself completely out there to stand up for her either.

3. After his dream, he comes to believe that what she says is true, and realizes that her problem is his problem too: This child will take away the sins of the world. He not only lets her live, he welcomes the child into his heart and life, raising him and caring for him, even though it is not his own. In doing so, he accepts not only the public shame from his neighbors but also a major burden on his life, having now to sacrifice time and money for something that he didn’t cause and has almost nothing to do with him.

In our lives as Christians, as we approach the great feast of Christmas, the day the Church celebrates God becoming a human being, we are also given three choices like Joseph:

1. We could choose to be cynical and reject what is hard to believe or inconvenient to us. “It is impossible for a virgin to give birth.” “God cannot become a human.” “Why should I have to help others? It was their mistakes, not mine.” This is the easiest and most acceptable response in our society. If we were to take this road, the road of “not my problem,” not only would we not be shamed, we might even be praised.

2. Our second option, like Joseph, is to profess our faith—with hesitancy. We come to mass, we believe that God could have done something like this, but we’re not really confident enough to let it change our public lives. Religion is what we do in this building on Sundays, and we like it, we’re good people. But like Joseph divorcing Mary privately, we’re not really willing to let other people know what we believe or let our beliefs “inconvenience” our lives.

3. But there is a final option, a perfect option God is calling us to in this season of Advent: to follow St. Joseph in accepting Jesus with our whole heart and let him transform every part of our lives. It’s one thing to let a child live; it’s another thing to raise him as if he were one of our children. To have faith like Joseph means not only believing, but being proud of what God has given us, our faith, and letting it change our private lives, our social lives, even our financial lives to let it grow.

When we look at our lives and out into the world, we see so many things that are “not my problem.” The human family is not exactly known for its great decision making, and we find so many people putting themselves in harm’s way, bringing heartache upon themselves and others. Unwanted pregnancies, drug addictions, major credit card debt. There are also those who maybe because of the fault of someone else are in a bad situation. Immigrants and refugees, mental illness, human trafficking. For each of these situations, it is easy to say that we did not cause these situations, it has nothing to do with us, and so we shouldn’t get involved. Especially this time of year: “C’mon, it’s Christmas, it’s a stressful time for all of us, and I just want to enjoy it with my family and not have to worry about anyone else’s problems.” 

And we could respond in this way. We could focus on how we feel, how we don’t want to be inconvenienced, and how we are free from responsibility. “Not my problem Mary. I’m busy enough as it is.” But I tell you, like it or not, if we love the person, it is our problem. We would never ignore our best friend, we would never let our child fail, and we would never let our close relative deal with a great struggle alone, even if it is not our fault. Like Joseph, we do not get to choose what God asks of us; all we get to decide is how we are going to respond. God is asking of us, in this final week before Christmas, to prepare to receive his son in this world. When we see him, when we see the body of Christ broken and battered, when we see the suffering of our brothers and sister in Christ, will we welcome him into our lives with open hearts like Joseph, or will we turn from the inconvenience and say to our Lord, “not my problem”?