December-January 2019: Prayers and Reflections for Christmas

Prayers and Reflections for Christmas

‘Are you looking forward to Christmas?’ I asked for the sake of conversation. ‘Looking forward… looking forward… looking forward’ she replied with increasing decibels each time […] ‘I’m burnt out on the whole thing without ever having been on fire about it … if you don’t take hold of the real message for yourself then others will make sure that what they want the season to be will grab you and never let go.’

Alan Hillard,
Dipping into Advent. Reflections for Advent & Christmas
Messenger Publications, 2019, p. 19

• Recall times when you have ‘walked in darkness’. What was it like? What helped you to keep going? Was there a turning point, when darkness turned to light?
• A birth is always a joy! Think back to the joy of your own parents when you yourself arrived in the world. Use this very natural human happiness to come close to the happiness of today’s feast.
• Endless peace sounds great, but, as we know, peace is always ‘under construction’, always fragile, always in need of support. Where have you experienced peace? What about your own commitment to be a peacemaker, a bearer of peace to others?

Kieran J O’Mahoney OSA Hearers of the Word. Praying & Exploring the Readings for Advent & Christmas: Year A Messenger Publications, 2019, p. 102

Jesus freely gave up heaven’s glory to join our life on earth. And the Christian, in turn, often must give up earth’s privileges, even (in martyrdom) the freedom to live, to be worthy of joining the life of heaven. Martyrdom happened to Stephen, and we cannot rule out its happening to any of us. Because Jesus is both human and divine – the vulnerable infant as well as the source of all creation – we can bring him the entire scale of our experience. What ‘human’ issues do you face today: illness, relationship problems, lack of resources? And what ‘divine’ issues might you bring: faith in God’s unending love; hope in the growth and understanding you do not yet see?

The Irish Jesuits
Sacred Space: Advent & Christmas 2019-2020
Messenger Publications, 2019, pp. 51, 62

There is no room at the Inn for the one who made the boundless galaxies of our universe, and yet somehow here where God is homeless, all are truly at home. For this, it seems, is the way God gives and his gifts are never quite what we expect but always something better than we could possibly have hoped for. Whereas we can only dream of things too good to be true, our God, it would appear, has a habit of giving things too real to be false.

The Bethlehem innkeeper at Christmas was probably the unluckiest man in history. He had the chance to shelter the Holy Family and he missed it. Worst of all it wasn’t really his fault because after all the place was full […] The innkeeper didn’t know that Christ might be passing. We don’t either, any day of our lives. So watch and pray, be on the look-out for Christ passing … today.

Being a good father or mother or even a good child is not something that just happens. It’s something that we have to work at […] I think that’s what Pope John XXIII had in mind when he said; ‘It’s easier for a father to have children than for children to have a father’.

Paul Clayton-Lea and Maria Flood, eds.
Pass It On! Ronan Drury 1924-2017. Selected Writings
Naas Printing, 2019, pp. 53, 72, 73