Every year at Christmas we hear about the angel appearing to the shepherds, amidst their lowly work, who says to them:
Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
After which the choirs of angels sing out their praise to God. Despite the encouragement of the angel, I personally find it hard to move so suddenly from the busy tasks of preparing for Christmas and my daily life into the joy of the arrival of the big day. While the angel tells us that there is great joy to be had for all people, I have always wondered how to enter into that joy.
In the traditional Roman Catholic calendar (the one they used before the implementation of the new Mass after Vatican II), the Christmas season goes until Candlemas, February 2, which is the Purification of Our Lady. (In Jewish law a newly delivered mother had to wait 40 days after birth in order to be purified. Our Lady, being Immaculately conceived, did not need to be purified, but she followed the law nonetheless.)
That being said, I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas season and a Happy New Year!
Photo taken by Mathew Lu.
This is the family photo we sent out with our Christmas cards. My New Years resolution is to not end up in the ER this year/not fall down the stairs again/not get a concussion/or anything else…
This year it took until the third week of Advent for me to have what I call “that Advent feeling.” I discovered in our dusty pile of CDs a forgotten Advent album produced by Wyoming Catholic College made in 2015. The first track is a hymn called Behold the Dwelling of God by Andre Gouzes, O.P. about Mary and the Incarnation.
Behold, the dwelling of God among his people, Mary, so highly favored, shelter of heaven’s Glory, Mother of Immanuel.
The angel of the Lord was sent to Mary, And the Virgin was overcome by the Light. Listen, Mary, do not be afraid: You will conceive and bear a Son. You are the new Eden and the Land of the Promise. In you, the Sun of Justice has made his dwelling.
The melody causes one to feel that a promise is going to be fulfilled, that our longing will one day come to an end. It reminds me of the faithful remnant of Israel crying out to the Lord: we have been faithful, so when are you going to rescue us? In Mary the promise to Israel, to all the nations, was fulfilled. Every Advent that old familiar longing and ache for a fulfillment that we cannot have in this valley of tears returns to me as I contemplate the coming of the Infant Christ… Read the rest at the National Catholic Register…