Up Front and Personal

Making Christmas Mystery a Reality

Carol PowellBy Carol Powell

“The Word is made flesh and dwells among us.”

Another Christmas is upon us, the celebration of Divine Love in our midst. The Light shines in darkness and the darkness cannot put it out. Now the Word of God comes to live within us shining through our words, our actions, our very being. The Advent preparation and cleansing is over temporarily as we focus on the mystery of this Divine Indwelling and look forward to the coming of Christ at the end of our lives and at the end of time.

Each of us should be the birthday gift given to the Christ child that He might live His life in each of us. “Live in me and I in you,” John’s Gospel tells us. This is the real meaning of Christmas. God was born into the world that we may be born again into God. Is this too lofty an ideal to contemplate for us weak human beings who struggle to live each day worthily?

A Living Reality

Yet, I have known people who have mirrored Christ for me in my life. My grandmother, a sixth-grade teacher, two wonderful priests, some dear friends who are now with God, are only some of the people who have made the Christmas Mystery a living reality for me. In the midst of the world’s darkness, saints walk among us bringing light into the darkness because they have allowed Christ to take over their lives and to be born again in them.

People move among us silently, imperceptibly performing their quiet acts of mercy and love. Those who visit hospitals and nursing homes, who reach out to the unwanted and marginalized, the young who befriend a bullied schoolmate – these bring the light of Christ to others.

And, as my mother used to say, “Charity begins at home.”

Serving, loving and sacrificing for family members, especially those who are most difficult, brings the patience and unconditional love of Christ into their lives.

Acts of Love

How many times have people listened attentively to a long winded relative or acquaintance who has told the same story a hundred times or accepted with grace an undeserved criticism from Uncle Harry or Aunt Hilda? These are little acts. But with every little or huge act of love, Christ is born again in our hearts.

Christmas can be all year long if we truly understand what the mystery signifies. Mary gave birth to Christ physically on that first Christmas Day but she had been giving birth to Him spiritually long before Bethlehem. We too are called to be spiritual mothers and fathers to the Christ life.

Share this article with a friend.