We know these all too familiar words: "It’s the most wonderful time of the year" and "It’s the happiest season all" but many feel a profound sorrow at this time. All the Christmas music, trimmings and trappings do little to fill that void. Our lives are not like "feel good" Christmas movies. They are messy. We struggle with the conflict between the fictionalized story and the reality. Are we willing to put "Christ" back into Christmas?
In a recent article in Our Sunday Visitor, the Dominican Father Patrick Briscoe commented "on this side of heaven, God has deemed it enough for us to know Him through Jesus. This is the face of God that we must seek." Jesus fully entered our "messiness." He is real. In seeing Him, we see the face of God. This is Christmas.
Despite the busyness of this time of year, it is important for us to set aside time to contemplate Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the center of our faith. Like the shepherds, “Come, let us adore Him.” As we make our annual pilgrimage to the Crèche and gaze on the Babe in the manger, notice that His arms are wide open. His desire is to embrace and heal us and the world. Christmas is an opportunity to return to Bethlehem, the House of Bread, every tabernacle in every Catholic Church in the world, and to adore Him who is present yet hidden under the disguise of bread. Perhaps in our churches there could be the opportunity for Eucharistic adoration before the Masses celebrated during the Christmas Season? The Christmas Season is an occasion for us to return to the richness of our Catholic tradition: that Jesus, Emmanuel, God With Us, not only came to that small Bethlehem village more than 2,000 years ago but is still present in our world.
Blessings on you and your families as we strive to grow closer to our Eucharistic Lord, especially during this Christmas Season.
Sister M. Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN
Once again, during this time of Eucharistic Revival in the Church in the United States, I encourage you visit the National Eucharistic Revival website.