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Wishing you a most blessed Christmas!

I join Fr. Ron and all of us in our One In Christ ACC to wish a most blessed

Christmas to all of you and those you love.

What memories does this day hold for you? Maybe it is a cherished ornament or decoration that has been handed down the generations. A favorite cookie recipe from Grandma.

The year the tree tipped over and took the Santa figurine with it. The long car ride to the relatives in the winter cold. The gift that you never imagined would actually appear in the stocking. The Christmas hymn that still brings a lump to your throat. The gift you gave that made another so joyful. We are all different people and have unique experiences.

For me, many of the most powerful Christmas memories are of silence, stillness, looking up at the stars in the night sky after the late Mass or sitting in a quiet and dimly lit church gazing at the manger scene. The meaning of what this day means at its core, behind all the other associations, comes home to me in those moments.

Silent Night, holy night … the Christmas silence is not an empty nothingness, but an opportunity to quiet the noise that drowns out God’s Voice, that we might hear the echoes of His Word in the deepest recesses of our being. We too are made through this Word, God’s love speaking each one of us into life, calling us by name. He comes not in overwhelming power but in weakness, in the wordless simplicity of an Infant. The Christmas silence can bring us a soothing, calming, and peaceful Presence for the restlessness of our spirits, for Jesus has come, one who loves us without fail and without end.

Amid the busyness and fitting joy of celebrations with family and friends, I do hope you find some time for silence, to keep watch like Mary and Joseph on that silent night, that holy night, in loving awe at the Birth of this Child, all of God’s promises kept. For with this one original Christmas Gift, we receive a joy beyond all sorrow, a light beyond all darkness, a hope beyond all weariness, a love that is greater even than death. Come, let us adore Him: Christ, the Lord.

Fr. Tom

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