‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas, and all through the parish, not a soul was stirring, not even the man who changes the candles…. ok, wait, he is always working.
As I said last year, and last week, and will keep repeating: carefully pick your Christmas Mass! The Christmas Eve Masses are crazy packed, most especially (and worrisomely) the 4pm here at the church. So why not come on Christmas morning? The Masses on Christmas morning are far more prayerful than the ones on Christmas Eve because you are not wrestling with the fire marshal!
But, you ask, “what about our family traditions?” Change is possible: over the last several years, our family changed some times when we exchanged gifts, pushing some back to the 26th! All in the name of letting Christmas be more Christmas and less frenzy!
Moreover, last year I spent 48 hours with my family after Christmas, and made a New Year’s resolution to spend more time with my Mom and Dad. Wow! Thank you Jesus, little did I know, that I only had six more months to spend with my mother before Jesus would call her home.
This Christmas will be different. Mom will be missed. Over the last six months I have become even more keenly aware that we are closest to those whom we love when we are around the altar. It is only in Jesus that we have communion that transcends even death. All people, traditions and things will pass, but the Cross remains fixed forever. Hold onto the altar, Hold onto Jesus, Hold onto all whom you love.
And maybe you could incorporate this quote into your family traditions. My mother read it every Christmas before any gifts were opened. I don’t know who will read it this year (likely Dad), but I expect there will be a few misty eyes in the Mosimann house.
“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and movesupon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”
― Sigrid Undset
Thanks Mom and Dad for giving us the one Christmas gift that matters: Jesus.
pax et bonum,