Today is the 43rd birthday of my nephew, Adam.

I remember so clearly the day that he was born.  He was the first to be born of his generation in our family.  He is the eldest of nine grandchildren of my parents.

I was lucky enough for my sister and her husband to be living very close to the parish where I was serving at the time when he was born.

I would at times pick him up and take him shopping or vising relatives with me.

Now he is the father of two children, and his daughter is already 17-years old.

I have a very big extended family.  None of them live where I do now.  The closest members are three hours and forty minutes away, by plane!  However, bonds of love and belonging are able to transcend space, and even time.

I am lucky to know that I belong to this family who I love and am loved back.

I remember years ago, I served as a priest in an area where many people suffered from economic challenges.  So many also had families where people did not speak to each other due to marriage breakup, etc.

I remember being struck by the fact that I was blessed and was called to give to others something of what I had.

Jesus said to whom much is given, much is expected.

Reaching out to others is so central to our Christian faith!

On New Year’s eve we had occasion to celebrate the life of a man who had no known family.  The Saint Vincent De Paul members stepped in and helped fund and be present at the funeral of this man.  I was deeply moved.  They became family for that man.

Strangers can become neighbours, can become family.

Jesus was very strong on this, such as in the story of the good Samaritan.

We give thanks for what we have.  When we share from what we have, we indeed do receive!

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