History honors dates of significant events, and the yearly calendar guides us from the mundane dates to those we anticipate with a day off work or to be grateful to those who have accomplished life changing feats.
Commercial adventurers have taken some of these events far off the charts of reality. The most egregious example being that of God becoming human - Christmas Day. For a true Christmas is bereft of decorated trees, blow up figures on the front lawn, specialty foods, and the corporate parties with the Christmas Bonus for all who performed well during the year.
It makes sense that this is the real Christmas for many, as delving into the possibility that God would actually become one of us is difficult to comprehend.
This is why the church sets aside a month of the year to provide the setting and give us the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures that lead to the Savior's birth. Those who observe Advent have a deeper understanding of the Incarnation, but continue to view this as a miracle birth. As with powerful events in life, there is a space between reality and how can this be?
The challenge of Christmas is to put on the mind and heart of the adult Jesus.
Surrounded by what goes on in the world, celebrate that Jesus came into the world in the same way we all did. Celebrate that Jesus took on the form of humanity and as Paul says: "did not deem equality with God as something to be grasped."
Jesus became human to demonstrate how God wants humanity to live the caring, loving, truth speaking life that Jesus did.
What am I really celebrating today?
Is this a question I can ask myself everyday God gives me on this Earth?
Sister Dorothy Maxwell, OP