It’s almost here!!! Are you excited yet? Nervous? Freaking out? Worried about plans, gifts, where all of those calories will go? There is some good news: Soon, whether in a few days, hours, or minutes, it will be here. Every year, at the beginning of the Mass at Night, the arrival is proclaimed: On the 25th day of December, the whole world being at peace, Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah, and was made man.
What a beautiful proclamation! What always strikes me as relevant to our continued experience of this most holy of nights is the phrase “the whole world being at peace.” Remember that feeling? Peace. You may have to dig back to memories from before Halloween if not before back to school to find it.
Perhaps the business of the lead up to Christmas makes it more pronounced, but there is something extraordinarily peaceful about a Christmas night, isn’t there? Most of my best memories of Christmas involve some sort of peace, whether it was under the tree as a child, Christmas mornings on a paper route as a teen, holiday shifts on an ambulance, or the final silence after the last worshippers leave after the last Mass is finished. At some point, Christmas always shows me a time of peace, even if it is fleeting. Perhaps God provides us that peace, not simply as a break from the chaos of the world, but to allow us to briefly enter into the peace of the manger in Bethlehem, where out of love for us He became present in the flesh in order to begin his journey through this life to conquer the deaths of this world, so that we might know the peace that His forgiveness makes possible.
My prayer for each of you is that you would experience at least a moment of the peace of Christmas this year. I hope that you are able to revel in that peace. Enter into it. Make the most of it. Let the peace of Christmas enter your heart.
May God bless you and your families with a peace filled Christmas.