The wait is over. Advent is done. Jesus is in the manger. We have this tradition within the Catholic Church of not putting the baby in the cradle until Christmas Eve. Tonight, I arrived at friends’ and placed the Child Jesus in his crib. Mary, hands open, Joseph, deep in prayer, awaited the arrival of their Son. The couple looked so calm. How did we wait these past four weeks?
Today’s Gospel of John reminds us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. We have been waiting for the Light of the World to take on flesh and to live among us. Now, the Light is here, arriving on a night with a full moon to accentuate the brightness. I have waited with joyful hope and as I reflect on the special bonus of the full moon, I am grateful for the extra Light that shines at this time.
The pace of the four weeks was very different for me. I entered the season rested and distant from all the trappings of the season. I held my hands open like Mary often before the creche and waited with a trusting heart. I look at this Joseph and I sense he is still reeling from the whole adventure, uncertain about what is yet to come. I can relate to that. Joseph is often overlooked in this story of the Virgin giving birth, the angels, the shepherds, and the magi. He is present in a supporting role at first glance; yet he is key to this birth. His yes meant that God could proceed. Our yes also gives God permission to proceed. Join Joseph in kneeling before the Son this night and lose yourself in prayer. Let God speak to you. Ask God the questions that stir in your heart this night. Engage in what is known in Ignatian terms as a colloquy or spiritual conversation with God, Jesus, Mary, or Joseph this holy Christmas night. God may allow you to see the glory of the one and only Son in a new way if you do.
I wish each of my dear readers a blessed Christmas.
Now that Jesus is in the manger, has anything changed for you?
Who are you drawn to have a colloquy with from the scene?
Bright Light of the World,
we thank you for being in the manger,
for bringing peace to a desperate world,
love to weary, aching hearts,
and joy to singing spirits.
may we reflect your Light
wherever we go.