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The Christmas story: new and old

Sister Diane Mason invites us to look deeper this Christmas, beyond the story of Jesus in the manger and into the Jesus being born in our hearts.

Sister Diane Mason invites us to look deeper this Christmas, beyond the story of Jesus in the manger and into the Jesus being born in our hearts.

In reflecting and praying preparing for this Christmas writing, I read: Mary hurries to visit Elizabeth. The angels announce the birth of the savior to the most unimportant, the shepherds. In what I read, there is a lot of scurrying about, a lot of tidings of great joy. It doesn’t sound so unlike the times we live in today.

At this time of year, children in many schools or churches take part in Christmas pageants. You know the script: Mary holds a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, Joseph stands to the side, the shepherds arrive and then three kings come carrying their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

This story is told over and over, we listen to it, and memories are stirred within our hearts. The Christ child is born — Jesus Christ our Savior.

It is a beautiful story, and in faith, we believe. The truths we cling to are based on the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. We believe and trust in them.

But let’s look deeper. Jesus Christ was born in human flesh. Christ is like you and me! Let’s open our creative minds and let’s create a new story for the 21st century.

“Do not be afraid….” to look at yourself.

“Do not be afraid…” as you begin to pray not looking upwards but instead looking around you and see who needs you.

What child is this? This is you. This is the person Jesus Christ has given to humankind. YOU: the baby, the teenager, the young adult, the middle aged and the wisdom figure. We are the gift; the many gifts to one another. We are co-creators of humankind.

God has given us the story of the Nativity, and we often keep that story in a little package. It’s time to unwrap this precious story. It’s time to share this beautiful night throughout the world. It’s time to share it throughout time, with our families, with our friends. It’s time to let them know how beautiful and how special they are to us.

God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son, Jesus Christ.

This very Jesus Christ, the Holy One, is within you! Embrace this gift of the sacred. Share it with your family and friends. Open your eyes to see the Christ in those who have hurt you. Share the light of goodness with others who long to be loved.

This Christmas Eve brings new life to those who have courage to seek it. This Christmas morning is waiting for you to come to the stable to see the gifts that surround you: gifts of courage, dignity and grace. These gifts can’t be bought. They can only be shared with those whose hearts and souls are opened to receive them.

This night, this day, are very holy because a new life has been born within you.

“Don’t be afraid…” to say yes to this gift of transformation!

It takes time to give birth. It takes time for new life. Together, let us begin this journey of hope by saying, “YES, I am not afraid…”

Merry Christmas!

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Sister Diane Mason

Sister Diane Mason served as director of Providence Associates for the Sisters of Providence until 2017. Prior to that she ministered for 37 years as a teacher or principal at the elementary level. She currently lives and volunteers in Orland Park, Illinois.

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4 Comments

  1. Marsha Speth, SP on December 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    This blog made me think of a poem by Leonardo Boff I read recently:
    Every little boy wants to be a man.
    Every man wants to be a king.
    Every king wants to be God.
    Only God wants to be a little boy.

    To humbly accept that we are loved in all our humanness is very transformative.
    Emmanuel!
    Thanks, Diane!

  2. Carol Nolan on December 23, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Diane! Lessons for all of us.

  3. Bill Hughes on December 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Thanks, Diane! Just what I needed this morning.

  4. Jenny Nowalk on December 25, 2014 at 2:52 am

    Gifts that can’t be bought……..thank you Sister Diane……!

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