December reminds us of Christmas. However, what exactly does Christmas mean? How do we keep Christ in Christmas?
Shalom missionaries and some friends who participate in the prayer group every Saturday had a Christmas celebration in a different way from what people generally do.
On December 17th, 2016, during the prayer group they got together around a Nativity scene to sing some songs as a way to welcome each other and to prepare their souls for a special moment: Adoration – an encounter with our Savior and Lord that took place in St. Francis Chapel, in Cambridge.
After Adoration, all of the participants went to the Shalom house to share their thoughts on some statements about Christmas written by Pope Francis in 2013. In one of the statements he said, “Christmas is you, whenever you decide to be born again every day and let God enter into your soul”.
The “sharing moment” was followed by a talk given by Fr. Walter who reminded us that Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus. As he said, “it’s a time to prepare for our desire to meet Jesus”. He led a reflection about how some characters from the Bible prepared themselves for Jesus’ coming.
Mary’s preparation started even before her birth and continued throughout her life as an adolescent until the moment she contemplated the newborn Jesus.
Joseph was the second character presented by Fr. Walter. According to him, Jesus’ father was known to have fallen asleep (check out Mt 1: 18-25), so we can infer that his preparation started when he was sleeping. Sometimes God uses dreams to talk to us.
Elizabeth also had her preparation when Mary went for a three-month visit (Lk 1, 39-45). In fact, the other way to prepare ourselves is by doing for others. I believe that Elizabeth was a great support for her relative as Mary was for John’s mother.
And there is our fourth example for preparation for Jesus: John, the precursor. He who always announced Jesus’ coming was literally the messenger of Christ. May we all be the ones who go ahead, who take a step of courage to announce Christ, the King of the Universe and the King of our lives.
Four big witnesses who teach us to prepare for Jesus who came, who comes in every Eucharist and who will come in glory.
To conclude the celebration we had an amazing dinner, a Yankee Swap, and a time to sing christmas carols. Feeling joy and sharing life is also a way to keep Christ in Christmas.