Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:

One of our Gospel readings during Advent was Matthew’s account of the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Christ went up on the mountain, near the Sea of Galilee. He sat down. “Great crowds” came to him: the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute. “They placed them at his feet and he cured them.”

You can picture the stage set: Christ, the Messiah, seated on top of the mountain: the crowds so far below they are literally at his feet. They have to crane their necks to see his face.

This would be the place where an earthly king would whip out his scepter, call for his   crown, and start issuing orders to his minions. But Christ is completely different than an earthly king.

Far from using his office to summon more power to himself, he lets his power go out to those who need healing, which is another way of saying those who need love. They’re thronging his place on the mountain, jostling, elbowing, handing forward the sickest one by one to the front. We can picture him bending down, cocking his head to hear, reaching out to tenderly touch heads, faces, hands.



  1. Twinkle Dad says: Reply

    ” … what is asked of us is to live in the whirlwind” — 2020, Q.E.D. 🤔

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Raissa! God bless you Bill!! Merry Christmas out there in Phoenix–Eternal thanks for your loyalty and support.

  2. Philippe Garmy says: Reply

    This season of covidtide has indeed given Advent a bizarre, challenging twist…with all our vulnerabilities fully exposed, limited personal contact with friends and family, a sustaining sadness and fear of the unknown seems to rule our minds and our hearts. And so I find myself praying the rosary often, so that I can take in his presence…renewing and feeding my worrisome mind, hungry heart and soul with that peace which surpasses all our frail human understanding.
    That moment of surrendering to pray is paradoxically liberating…my fingers and hands clutching the rosary lovingly, breathing the promising words aloud to fill a starving world with hope…there’s this prolonged intimacy as you traverse the mysteries in words and meditation, decade by decade, as if holding hands with our Blessed Sweet Mother, until the final utterance of prayer is complete and you gently kiss the cross in loving gratitude. What began with loneliness, fear and hunger, now yields a holy torrent of grace, mercy and a sweet assurance that we are indeed not alone, that we need only ask in love and be willing to practice his holy presence in our daily lives.
    From a cold, wet and grey Paris in covidtide, I pray you live a most Joyeux Noël, Heather!

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      What a beautiful reflection on the Rosary, Mary, Christmas…thank you Philippe. Many years ago, still in the depths of my drinking I spent a Christmas eve in Paris–and though not yet a Catholic, my equally spiritually lost friends and I found our way to Notre Dame…the snow was falling…even in my reduced state I remember the hush…the candles…the expectant crowd…the holiness…Cold, damp and gray here in Southern California today as well–Joyeux Noel to you, and all in Paris, across the miles!