He Makes our Life Worth Living

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The Christmas “hub bub” is over…well, except for maybe a few football games and their accompanying parties. But even that will be over in a few hours. And we will be left with reflecting on our holiday. We’ll think about our “mad” preparation, how long it took, and how quickly it was over. We’ll remember stories told by family and friends that we may not often see. And we’ll savor the memories of our Christmas dinner and the laughter around the table.

Yet our “holiday” extends beyond the celebration of “only” Christ’s birth. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, whose “Yes” made God’s will possible. The Epiphany–the proclamation of the three kings and our Lord’s Baptism in the Jordan are yet to come. (Officially, His Baptism is not part of the Christmas season, but it is, in my opinion, a very important part of His humanity.)

We’ve heard it all so many times before. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t just let the beautiful readings of Advent and the Christmas season just “slide” over us–without any “absorption!”

What struck me most this year is the phrase “And Mary kept all of these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Mary reflected despite all the confusion of angels and shepherds, and the cold and discomfort of a stable birth. We heard it at the Christmas Mass at dawn and we hear it again today. Do we ever stop to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas? Oh, sure, we verbalize it. We tell ourselves in the midst of the confusion that “Jesus is the real reason for the season!” But do we really take the awesome meaning of Christmas to heart? Do we internalize it?

Today’s second reading summarizes it in a few short sentences. God, Creator of all things, came to earth as a little human baby born of a human woman chosen by God, but who could have said “No.” (Mary had free will too!) He came in human flesh so that He could be our very brother. And as His brother (or sister), we could call God, His Father, our father, His Abba (Daddy), our Abba (Daddy)!! He came to raise our status of humanity from that of slave to son (daughter) of the Most High God, creator of all things! And as a child of the Most High, we too, become heirs of the Eternal Kingdom!

His coming really, in a sense, makes our life worth living–living for Him, loving for Him, and eventually living with Him. Without Christmas, there could be no Easter. We, like Mary, have much cause to reflect!!

Linda Caminiti