“Be loyal to your family” : Sr Máire O’Bryne FMA, Salesian Community, Limerick, Ireland

 “Be loyal to your family”                                                                       Reflection for 2 Sunday of Christmas

Over the past few weeks many have been complaining of all the work and fuss involved in preparing for Christmas that only lasts one day. This may be true of the commercial side of the celebration, but the real Christmas is for keeps. This is the message that the readings of today bring home. The Gospel tells us that “The Word became flesh and He dwelt among us”, that is God became one of us, taking on both the beauty and the weakness of our humanity, and he intends to stay, to dwell, with us. The first reading says the same about “Wisdom”, which is a feminine title for the Spirit of God in the Jewish Scriptures. We read that Wisdom was invited to establish her tent among the chosen people. As a result, Paul tells us in the second reading, we are now God’s adopted children.

What does this mean in practice? It means that God was so in love with humanity that God wanted to be one of us, and forever. Jesus became human, and he still is one of us. If we take this as seriously as Jesus does, it means that everything in our world is sacred, nothing or no-one is a stranger to God. Since God stole into our world as a baby like any other everything has become part of God’s life. But we need to “stop and stare”. We need our eyes to be enlightened by the light that Jesus brought. Then we understand that: “Each tiny act is an extraordinary event in which heaven is given to us, in which we can give heaven to others. Whatever it is – the telephone that rings, the bus that is late, the headache or toothache, the conversations that spring up, the knock on the door – they are all the outer shell (the sacrament) of an amazing inner reality, the soul’s encounter with God’s beautiful grace”. (Madeleine Debriel, We ordinary people of the Streets).

In the light of today’s readings we can say, as Daniel O’Leary puts it, “Since Christmas, there is nothing too big or too small in our blessed and broken humanity to be revealed every Sunday as Real Presence” (Unmasking God, p. 125).

In this new year of 2016, may everyday be Christmas for us.

                                                                    Sr Máire O’Bryne FMA, Salesian Community,  Limerick, Ireland