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Daily Reflection

Friday, January 3 2nd week of the Christmas Season
‘City of Angels’

How did the city of Los Angeles, California, get its name?

There are many theories but a popular one credits a historian and explorer named Fr. Juan Crespi.

Born March 1, 1721, in Palma de Mallorca, where his philosophy teacher was Junipero Sera. In 1749, Fr. Crespi and Fr. Franciso Palou volunteered to accompany Fr. Serra when he went to Mexico to serve as a missionary. Fr. Crespi later continued into California as part of the first European overland exploration from San Diego to Monterey and into the San Francisco Bay area.

In August 1769, Fr. Crespi wrote in his journal about what he had seen that day, including a beautiful river which the expedition had named: “Nuestra Senora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula.” The name was chosen in honor of the feast of St. Mary of the Angels, which is celebrated August 2.

The land surrounding the river eventually became known as Los Angeles.

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, Joseph was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. -Matthew 2:21-22

You would think that if God were to arrange for the coming of the King of Kings into this world, everything would have gone smoothly. 

But that’s not what happened.

Think about it. The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth - and the rest of HIs life - were not perfect. There were problems. By many social standards, Jesus was an illegitimate child. There was talk about divorce long before a one-parent family was common. And the Holy Family was a family with only one child, which at that time was unusual. 

Mary and Joseph probably didn’t think they were doing any better than I may think I’m doing with my family. 

Jesus did not come as a king on a state visit. He came to be part of our real lives in order to help us make sense out of real life, with all its problems.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord