Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

Merry Christmas to you and your families!
May the Baby Jesus be present in your homes and your hearts, and may we all be good shepherds this coming year.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mary Christmas

I've been thinking a lot about Mary lately.  

Given the recent Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the ongoing Nativity story during Advent, it is hard not to.

Mostly I have been trying to "feel" what it must have been like for her the day the Angel Gabriel came to visit her.  

I'm trying to remove the numbness that hearing the same passage over and over brings with it.  

Trying to get past the words I have heard hundreds of times.  

Trying to forget that I know the answer in the back of the book.  

Mary was given a choice.  Say yes, or no, to a request that is almost beyond human comprehension.  

In her early teens.  

And by the way, saying "yes" to God's Will would bring with it the overwhelming threat of public humiliation and, likely, punishment by death.  (Side note ... was Mary the first person that every risked her life for Jesus?  Interesting.)

In any case, we have the luxury of knowing how the story ends.  Mary, at least to our knowledge, did not.  

She had to say yes to an idea that probably went against everything she had expected.  The Savior they had been waiting for was going to be born to a virgin?  In the poor area of Nazareth?  To her???

It was her faith against all that.  And her faith won.

May God grant all of us just a small portion of our Blessed Mother's faith ...

I hope you are all having a Blessed Advent.