Prayer groups from Charismatic Renewal Services of the Archdiocese of Boston celebrated Christmas at St. Mary's parish in Randolph, Massachusetts on December 27, 2018. Members of American, Vietnamese, Haitian, Hispanic, Ugandan, and Nigerian prayer groups shared scripture, prayer, song, and a festive meal. Vin Cerasuolo offered a Christmas reflection (reprinted below the photos) on the vulnerability of baby Jesus. Father Robert Carr translated the reflection to Spanish.
Celebration organizers were Anne Kasenge, Ugandan community, Michaelle Sylvestre, Haitian community and Linda Willett, CRSB Administrator.
Music was organized by Associate Director, Vincent Cerasuolo. Other music presenters were from the Vietnamese and Haitian communities
Mary and Joseph (ELT leader Ricardo Recino) were from the Hispanic community
All people who attended brought food which was organized by Ann Moore and Theresa Pham from our Vietnamese community, many delectable food offerings enjoyed by all.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
The Courage of Vulnerability
By Vin Cerasuolo given at CRS Christmas Celebration 2018
Love has many attributes: fidelity, patience, and kindness, to name a few. One very important aspect of love not often mentioned is vulnerability. In fact, complete vulnerability to another person gives them so much power over us that most people don’t surrender it to someone until they have experienced a committed life together for many years.
If you can think of someone who has hurt you greatly or treated your trust in them with indifference or worse, abuse, you know how fragile our hearts can be and how easily damaged.
When we look at a baby one of the things that makes them attractive is their vulnerability. It’s part of the reason we want to protect and take care of them. Let’s consider the baby Jesus for a few moments. Though all-powerful he comes to us, not as a ruler, a warrior or a super-human, but as a baby, vulnerable to us and dependent on us.
Throughout his life he always remained vulnerable to us and to how we would treat him. He gave us authority to accept or deny him and his message.
- Jesus preached the truth but many rejected it to remain in darkness.
- Jesus offered us the fullness of eternal life, but many wanted only physical healing for earthly life.
- Jesus offered us his very self, the bread of life, but many refused him to pursue their own ambitions.
- When people rejected him, abandoned him, accused him falsely, misunderstood and distorted his message, he remained vulnerable to us, allowing us to treat him the way we wanted. The Lord of all the universe, creator of all that is seen and unseen even allowed us to torture and kill him. He did nothing to stop us. This is the extent of the love of God who first came among us as a vulnerable baby.
God is still with us. His appearance as a baby was a sign and a message to us that vulnerability is essential to love. His coming reveals that he is still vulnerable to us. His love caused him to send us his Holy Spirit to guide us into a deeper relationship with him and others.
This Christmas season we can honor the baby in the manger and the man on the cross who has never stopped surrendering himself to us by asking him to make us more vulnerable to the Holy Spirit, who will show us how to imitate the way he loved us in every aspect of our lives.