Advent Devotional

The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) – Mass at Dawn: December 25, 2016
IS 62:11-12, Ps 97:1, 6, 11-12, TI 3:4-7, LK 2:14, LK 2:15-20
Reflection by Gary Owens ’88

What now?

Many of us have spent the last month or so “preparing” for this day. We shopped online, in stores, checked lists, perhaps twice, then spent hours wrapping. We wondered if the person receiving the gift would love it, if it would fit, if it would be the right size/kind/color. We couldn’t wait to see their faces the moment their eyes beheld their gift. We wondered if we remembered to give all the gifts we planned to give. We worried, maybe to the point of stressing out, if we had done enough. We asked the question? Have I forgotten Anyone?

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this cartoon in my dad’s office when I was a kid. He put it up on his office wall every year to remind us of the reason for the season. Still, for many of us, Christmas Day is a day to give and receive gifts. We have memories as kids of waking up to see that new bike, doll, cell phone, or some other merchandise given in the hopes of making us happy. We may have memories of seeing someone’s face as they opened the absolute perfect gift. We forget the most precious gift: Jesus Christ entered our world as one of us. Divine? Yes, but human as well. He would walk among us, eat with us, cry with us, laugh with us, and become the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He taught us through words in the form of parables and by example in the form of compassion shown to both believers and non-believers. Finally, he taught us the ultimate form of love: sacrificing his own life for ours. None of this would have been possible, however, had he not been born in that manger, the most humble beginning imaginable.

On this most joyous day, perhaps we should focus less on the presents beneath the tree and instead on the presence beneath the tree: family, friends, health, another year together working with kids who need us, and the blessing of the Christ Child, the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas and God Bless Trinity High School!

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