What Christmas Looks Like This Year
For Christmas this year, Nathan and I will get to visit my family and his, like we did for Thanksgiving. We’re really blessed that we’re able to make these visits happen, and they’re really important to us because we don’t get to see our families in Pennsylvania often now that I’m in Washington DC and Nathan is in Maryland.
I’m sure you can relate when I say that it’s important that I’m with my family and loved ones on Christmas. With that in mind, my heart goes out to everyone who can’t be with their loved ones this Christmas. Whether they’re far away and can’t travel, or they’re nearby but want to isolate to prevent potentially spreading the virus, I know it must be hard to be away from your family, friends, and loved ones, especially this year.
The First Christmas
As part of my year of service with Franciscan Mission Service, each volunteer received a spiritual director. I met with mine earlier this month, and she and I had a beautiful talk about Christmas. She told me that this year, we’re experiencing a Christmas that’s very similar to the first Christmas.
Things weren’t going according to plan for Mary and Joseph. Under miraculous circumstances, Mary faced an unplanned pregnancy. Although she never expected to be the Mother of God, she accepted His will graciously, and although the child wasn’t his, Joseph took care of both Mary and the baby Jesus and protected them with his life. When they traveled to and stayed in Bethlehem, the Holy Family had no one but each other. They brought the Infant Jesus into the world essentially into poverty, but this was far from a bad situation.
The Holy Family was truly humble in the sight of God, and their detachment allowed them to surrender to Him and let Him provide for them. Through all of the hardships and twists and turns that the Holy Family endured, they clung to each other. The difficulties in their lives diminished when they held Jesus. With God in their midst, they knew that somehow everything would be okay, and they were home.
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Home with Jesus
We’re no strangers to difficulties and hardships, especially during 2020. Through them all, we can look to the Holy Family to help us rely on God. We might be far from our families, we might have lost someone or something important, but we can find peace and comfort in bringing our grief to Jesus. As we keep Him close to us, we remember that He’s all that we need. Whether you’re able to attend Mass or you’re livestreaming it, believe that Jesus is with you. In receiving Him in the Eucharist or making a spiritual communion, you hold him inside you. No matter where you are this Christmas, seek the Lord who became flesh for us, and you’ll be home.
Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
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