As Christmas draws ever so near, how many of us are truly focused on the significance of the Christmas mystery: the Incarnation of the Son of God? How many of us will “stay the course,” once the Christmas tree, Nativity scene, and the other decorations are put away?
During this Advent season, I want to suggest 2 points to begin now that can help you stay the course, continuing to pursue your spiritual goals throughout the year, regardless of any obstacles that may arise.
1. Be Amazed!
God announced the news of his coming—the greatest truth of all-time—to the lowest members of society first. The shepherds were uneducated, simple men with no power or influence (cf. Luke 2:8-20).
In the same way, God comes to each of us, regardless of our state in life, and meets us where we are with the same invitation given to the shepherds, to come and adore him!
This last week of Advent, leading to Christmas Day, is a time for all of us to be amazed; to be humble and open enough to receive him and welcome him into our lives.
This is the Christmas mystery…
Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty, heaven’s glory was made manifest. The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:
The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
And the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us,
Little Child, God eternal!
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 525)
2. Remember What Emmanuel Means
“God with us.” Not only has the Christ child come to be our savior; he has come to reveal God to us in the flesh (cf. John 1:14). By becoming man, he experienced life as a human-being with all its ups and downs. As such, he can sympathize with the disappointment, heartache, weaknesses, betrayals, and temptations that we all struggle with.
You can trust in Jesus to console you and lead you through any storm that may come your way.
So, on Christmas Day and every day, give thanks and celebrate that moment when God entered our humanity to walk with us and to stay with us until the end of time (cf. Matthew 20:28).
Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”: O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity. (CCC, no. 526)
Last year, Pope Francis ended his Christmas Urbi et Orbi message with the following words:
May the birth of Christ the Savior renew hearts, awaken the desire to build a future of greater fraternity and solidarity, and bring joy and hope to everyone.
All of us at Pilgrim Center of Hope strives to live this message. Our desire is to guide you to encounter Jesus; be it as the Christ-child, as the Messiah during his public ministry, or as the flame of love that comes to us through his Holy Spirit. We do this through pilgrimages, conferences & presentations, and media outreach; including print, digital, and broadcast media programs.
Let us journey with you! Come visit our peaceful place in northwest San Antonio, or online at PilgrimCenterofHope.org.