Stay focused on Christmas!

Reflection provided by Fr. Jack Peterson

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Christmas Day is celebrated for eight days in the Church. We call it the Octave of Christmas.  It ends on January 1 with the feast of the Mary, the Mother of God.

It is very easy to be distracted during Christmas by a flurry of activities such as enjoyable gatherings with family and friends, returning gifts to the Mall and some extra time for rest. While these are good things, time for prayer easily gets bumped out of our day. I want to encourage you to take time out to pray and reflect upon the great mystery of Christmas this week. Stop by a church or chapel and enjoy some quiet time of prayer in imitation of the Blessed Mother, “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2: 19).

Here are a few Scripture passages and questions that might be helpful to you.

“She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger…” (Lk 2: 7).

  • Can you imagine Mary’s first hug of the Christ-child?

“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over the flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them…” (Lk 2: 8-9).

  • Why did the Angel appear to shepherds?
  • Jacob, Moses and David were shepherds…
  • Jesus would proclaim, “I am the Good Shepherd.”
  • The lowly are often open to God’s presence and action in this world.
  • They teach us how to worship the Christ child with deep, humble faith.

“…laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn” (Lk 2: 7)

  • Did the animals in the stable sense something unusual?
  • You know how pets can sense when we are sick or in morning?
  • Did they grasp that something unusual was going on in their stable?

“I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk 2: 10-11).

  • How do I allow the beauty of this mystery to bring “great joy” into my life?
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