Take time to reflect on Christmas - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Take time to reflect on Christmas

I extend my loving good wishes and my prayers to you that the light of Christmas will shine in your hearts and guide you in safe paths all through the Christmas season and into the year of our Lord 2012.

This special season of grace extends through Jan. 9, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Between Christmas and Jan. 9 we celebrate several feasts that invite us to keep in loving memory, to savor and to respond to the gift of the Christmas feast in our lives.

I make special note of the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28); the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Dec. 30); the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord: Mary, the Holy Mother of God (Jan. 1); and the Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 8). The readings and prayers of these great days focus us on the central theme of the season, and taken together call us in the gentle ways to spend time thinking about the implications in daily life of the mysteries we have recently celebrated.

I won’t go into another list, but do want to mention that we celebrate the feasts of some particularly attractive saints during the Christmas season all of whose feast days include readings that move us to contemplate the gift of his Incarnation.

What prompts this "commercial" for the Christmas season are the comments I heard from so many of you in the days before Christmas indicative that they were very hectic days; that the activities of those days left little time for any intentional, sustained room to pray and think about the feast. I need to add that my own self-awareness reminds me to acknowledge that I found myself in the same boat. In sum, I was — perhaps like you — doing a lot of good things during Advent but at the expense of even more important things.

Now that the rush before the activities of Christmas Day is behind us we might find and or make opportunities for ourselves to reflect on and pray about what we have celebrated: life itself; the gift of God’s love made visible and available to us in the vulnerable child; our share in the Christ life; and our privileged commission to share that gift with others.

Included in my prayers during this holy season will be the hope that the peace and light of Christmas will sink deep into your spirit in a sustaining, encouraging, joyful way.

Peace to all.

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