Advent Reflection

Reflection by Betsy DeGolian

It’s Christmas Eve. The presents are wrapped, the food is ready to be prepared, and the children are exuberant in their anticipation. But, first, we must go to Mass.

In my family we have always attended the Christmas vigil Mass. This year we’ll go with five kids and six adults. We’ll get there early to secure enough seats, and we’ll try to keep the children quiet and respectful. Somehow, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent/Christmas Eve, we’re supposed to do this twice. Please. Surely God will understand if we only go once.

That attitude misses the point. Imagine being a teenage girl, the same age as the young men we teach, and being told you are pregnant through no fault of your own. Then, imagine being that girl’s betrothed. Today’s two gospel readings remind us why we celebrate at Mass today, yes twice. Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness reminds us of our need to believe in God’s plan for us even when it doesn’t make sense. By going to Mass twice today—or once today and once tomorrow—we get a double dose of the importance of trusting God, even when it’s hard.

Lord, help us to remain faithful and trust in your plan for us.

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