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1 John 2:12-17; Luke 2:36-40

“Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice.” Thus says today’s Psalm. So, too, says our hearts in this Christmas season! For a people who have walked in darkness, have seen a great light. We bask this day in the after glow of Christmas. It is the light we gravitate towards on these dark days of winter.

Anna, like Simeon, was part of that people shrouded in darkness; but her faith in the faithfulness of God, prepared Anna for her encounter with her salvation in the person of the child Jesus. Disciplined by prayer and vigil, on seeing Jesus she immediately began to give thanks to God, who was faithful to his covenant and sent the messiah to those “looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

How do we respond to the dawning of our personal salvation this Christmas season?
Is our faith as strong as Anna’s? Is our confidence in the faithfulness of God as secure? Does this child engender for us hope in these times of conflict, division and challenge?

Anna was at peace on seeing the child Jesus, on seeing her “Christmas.” How peaceful are we after experiencing our “Christmas” yet again?

As we reflect on our personal response to the graces of Christmas, we should also reflect on how this child “grew in wisdom and grace before God and man.” This focus on Jesus should trigger in us a reflection on our own spiritual and physical development. Look to your children, nieces or nephews, grandchildren, or your self:  how was their/your faith life nurtured? How hopeful we were/are for them, how ambitious we were/are for their development, how hopeful we were/are for their futures. The answer to many of these hopes resides in this Bethlehem- born baby!

Christmas is about the birth of a child, so we live and walk in hope, hopeful of the future. Christmas is about the birth of a child who is at once eternal and new, divine and human. Christmas is about the quest for truth and for goodness; the quest to quiet one’s inner fears; the quest to find the secret for living authentic human lives. Look to the Christ child, growing strong, increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. This child holds the answers to your deepest desires and needs.

Christmas is a season for one’s personal hopes to be reborn and re-energized as we commemorate again and afresh, the coming of the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. The poet T.S. Eliot noted, Christmas is “the point of intersection of the timeless with time.” Anna got this! How about you and me?

By John Schlegel

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)