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Volume 15 – December 2016
Shalom Havurim (friends),
We are fast approaching another Hanukkah and Christmas. We want to wish all of you a Happy Hanukkah and Blessed Christmas season. We are sorry that we did not have time to create and publish the Hanukkah liturgy, but we will be working on it as the New Year gets under way. It is amazing how quickly Hanukkah and Christmas sneak up on us. Every year we comment on how quickly time is passing.
Hanukkah and Christmas almost coincide this year, so it should be easy to remember. Keep in mind that Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and said of himself, “I AM the Light of Life.” (John 8:12) During the darkest time of the year and in the darkness of our souls, we can count on Yeshua to be our Light. Let’s pray that His Light will pierce the darkness of this world and our hearts and bring the Light of God to bring us all to repentance and abundant life.
In Yeshua and Miriam,
Ken and Flora Wilsker
The Gift of Hospitality
We have been reflecting recently on the value of hospitality and how important this gift is to the building up of our Havurot and to the Hebrew Catholic community. If we are to help energize and inspire more groups around the world and make it possible for Hebrew Catholics to join together in fellowship and community, we have to be willing to be hospitable. This means we have to be ready to open our homes, and more importantly our hearts, to build community.
The example from Scripture is in Genesis 18. You can read in verses 1 through 15: Abraham welcomes the “strangers” into their home, and God makes a promise to them to bless them with a son, thus continuing the line of promise and building up the community of Israel. In the New Covenant in the Book of Acts, chapter 2: 42-47, we read how God inspired the first Hebrew Catholics to share all they had with each other while partaking in the Eucharist and Liturgy, and by their hospitality, God added to their number day by day.
This is our model today. The work of our Enemy wants to keep us isolated. When we are sharing our lives and our homes with those around us, then God can move mightily to save souls and add to our numbers. This is why it is so vital for us to be generous with our time and our homes.
We have a great example of this here in St. Louis under the leadership of David and Kathleen Moss. They have opened up their home to the Havurah meetings. We meet twice a month and then sometimes outside the meetings to share Feasts like Sukkot and Passover. We realize that not everyone has the circumstances to open up their homes, so it is important for those who do open up their homes that we support them with food and other resources so they can continue to be generous with others.
Another example of hospitality is the kind of Havurah that meets up in Toronto. The Neugebauers have generously shared their time and talent with their Parish to be able to develop a vibrant Hebrew Catholic community around different topics and guest speakers.
For this movement of God to grow, we must practice hospitality. Often times we have invited different groups of people who normally would not be mixing over to our home to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Passover, or Hannukah or just to spend time together in fellowship. A good place to start is in your Parish. If your home is not suitable, then invite people out for coffee or a small meal. These are all ways we can practice hospitality.
Through hospitality, God can add to the Hebrew Catholic community. In order to gather the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel both inside and outside the Church, we need to be open to visitors just like Abraham and Sarah were. We would love to hear how God has inspired you in hospitality and how God has used that to build a strong community in your neck of the woods.
Send your stories, testimonials, and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org News from the Diaspora will continue in 2017.