Let us recall, as we await the Christ Child, that we await the manifestation of a Child who is the Christ.
Especially in these final days that draw us near to the sacred Nativity, when family preparations, sacred preparations, and festive preparations tax us, let us remember. When the excitement and the anticipation arrive accompanied by sickness, setbacks, stress, and the normal fears of life, let us remember.
Do not give in to those fears that this sacred Nativity can sometimes summon within us. The anticipation is high, the promises are great, the festivity of this Solemnity is unmatched by all but the great Feast of Easter. Sadly, though, this celebratory time can be a time of trial, of family gatherings tainted by bitterness, of a battle between the sacred and the secular seeking to control the festive mood.
Let us recall that we await the coming of Him who is the Christ, of Him who made the great promises to save and satisfy us, for whose coming the entire world has longed and yearned, both for Him by Name and for Him in the mysterious cravings of the soul.
Let us recall that we await the great God! The celebrations we undertake are not of our own initiative or design – they are a reaction to the most sacred event to ever dawn upon the earth: the Incarnation of God, and His appearance as a man to men!
So, even if this comes to you at the last moment, recall: you celebrate an act of God who, out of His mercy, and of His own free will, descended from the heavens to come and find you.
Let His power take over and infuse your celebrations. Let Him impart the joy that you seek. Do not seek to create the peace for which you long – let it come to you!
His peace is coming to the earth this sacred night. Do not allow anything – not sickness, fears, bitterness, the burdens of life – to stand in its way. Allow God to visit you. He comes in the dark of this world’s night, and in the dark of our own lives, with power and goodness. Hear the angel call out to you:
“Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. ”
Expect this moment! Await it! Respond to it when you hear its call!
Then, the sadness will flee, hope will triumph, and the night will be dispelled by the emergence of that great Light to the nations. Behold, and rejoice!
[From the author of Come Away By Yourselves, a guide book for busy Catholics to make time for meaningful prayer. Buy the book here.]