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Christmas Reflection 2015

From the movie, It's A Wonderful Life

From the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life

I originally intended to write about peace at Christmas against the pervasive violence so current at this time.

Then I came upon a news story titled “Good Samaritan Rescues Mom at Airport.” This news story led me to the movie It’s A Wonderful Life featuring the angel Clarence Odbody. Those of us old enough to remember this film gained valuable life lessons by watching George Bailey struggling with doubt because of his lack of success in life. Clarence walks George through that life to show George how life would have been very different if George had not chosen to help others rather than pursue success. Like all good movies, this one has a happy ending!

The news story I watched told the story of a real life mom traveling to see her dying mother on the day after Thanksgiving. She is bringing her three month old daughter with her.

The flight the young mother is on is delayed and then cancelled. Disembarking from that flight, she is frantically trying to make new arrangements. At that point a stranger walks up to the distressed mom and says, “My name is Mary. I’ve been listening to you for the last hour and I’m praying for you and your family.”

Shortly after that encounter, the mom hears from her husband that he has found his wife and daughter another flight on another airline. Problem? The new flight is due to depart in fifteen minutes. Mary and her new friend run together to the ticket counter. The counter attendant procures a seat for the mom. Mary pays for the $400 ticket. Mary hugs the mom and tells her:

“I love you and so does the Lord.”

How about that for a true story with a true happy ending?

I’m certain you get where I’m headed here.

This Christmas, let us ask our guardian angels to help us walk through our lives to consider how the world, how our neighborhoods, our Church families, our own families would be different if we did not love and keep their needs close to heart and at the center of our activities.

This Christmas, let us look for random acts of kindness (big or small) we can perform.

This Christmas let us recognize and name the Marys in our lives and give thanks for them.

(Don’t you wonder if the airport angel’s name – Mary – was coincidence or Providence?)

This Christmas let us believe that it is “…a wonderful life.

This Christmas let us, like Jesus, be the incarnation of a loving God who “became flesh” and counts on us to incarnate God’s love. Merry Christmas!

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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6 Comments

  1. Jean on December 16, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Amen!!!! I love that great old black & white movie and the current story of “Its a Wonderful Life” in the airport that you shared is tender and lovely…..reminds me that I’m overdue for giving a random act of kindness…..thanks!!

  2. Phyllis on December 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    THANKS, my Friend. You continue to hit the mark with few words and practical applications. You are a BIG Blessing. Stay healthy and happy.

  3. Monica on December 16, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I think there are angels everywhere. People who touch our lives in ways so profound and meaningful that we can’t imagine how different things would’ve been without them. I suspect that many times those people are unaware of their influence in our lives. Have we been angels to others?

  4. Narie on December 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    You got me teary, Sister Denise! Living among this hectic culture around Christmas involving overwhelming gift-giving, massive card sending, and fun-searching, it’s easy to forget what Christmas is really about. Thank you for bringing my conscious back to the core.

  5. Cindy Hux Martin on December 22, 2015 at 8:03 am

    What a relevant reflection at a time of year when the true meaning of Christmas is often buried in the avalanche of commercialism. Peace be with you Sr D. OXOXOX

  6. Paula Modaff, S.P. on December 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    You’ve done it again, dear Denise. Merry Christmas!

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