On this beautiful Christmas Day…
A Child born in a manger,
A Son sent to redeem the world,
A Savior come to renew all things.
My Dear Good People,
In older days, we knew about refugees seeking relief from war. Today we know of immigrants yearning for refuge from poverty, lack of education, disrespect for women and children, religious persecution and even worse, if there be such a thing.
However we might feel about people crossing our borders, legally or illegally, they are a fact of life and, for the most part, they are here to stay.
But I propose that all of us are refugees, immigrants, in a way. We fear war. We try to flee from Covid-19 behind masks, six feet away. We fret, often desperately, about how to pay our bills for food, college debt or mortgages. In addition some of us are experiencing the heartbreak of not being able to receive the Sacraments of Christmas even virtually because our Priests are ill with the virus. It seems at Christmas it’s just that much harder to take. And if these problems don’t touch us personally our hearts are burdened with the thought of those who face them every day.
After all, no one of us is completely free, or ever safely at home in this world.
So we all come this evening limping, groping in the dark, dragging our knapsacks behind us, tasting our own tears along the crooked road to Bethlehem that seems to draw us, like a distant border, until we stand, kneel, or collapse before the manger where we finally gaze upon the only Freedom that holds the promise we seek–the safe Haven of God’s Gift to us in Jesus.
Imagine, or rather rejoice in the certainty that God has seen our suffering and even wept with us so much that, finally, He sends His Son; little, unknown, poor, subject to the cold, in an uncertain occupied country, so that He can say without pretense, I understand how you feel.
This is the perfect dialogue of the soul with God. Welcome to our sorry world, Little Jesus, we whisper.
And He whispers back in His infant voice, I embrace this sorry world and see it as beautiful because it’s yours, and now it’s Mine, too.
Gaze into the eyes of Your tiny immigrant God, perhaps no more than 6 lbs, 3 oz, 21 inches long, like so many other babies who have left eternity to be born in time. Welcome Him as your Savior Who now shares every human experience we experience, Who even takes our sin upon Himself to free us from its bondage.
Welcome Little One, Great One. Thank you for coming! We are both, You and I, Jesus, just passing through. We will both return to the Father one day and find our forever Home there. Till then, O Little Lord Jesus, let’s greet this world together. Life really is so beautiful with You in it. Merry Christmas, Beloved One. I am so grateful You have come. I love You.
And we sing, Blessed Christmas to you, Dear Friends.
With loving hearts,
Mother Marie Julie
and the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady,
Mother of the Church