The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Beauty Like No Other

 

December 23, 2020 | View PDF



The beauty of Christmas is a beauty celebrated like no other time throughout the calendar year. Christmas decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas gifts, Christmas gatherings all speak of joy and peace. Christmas is in the air. It is good we together come to know this unique and this profound mark Christmas offers us, for it is the birth of the Savior in which we truly find our joy and our peace.

This Christmas is, of course, a little different to say the least. The global health crisis with which we are confronted and its accompanying economic hardship has definitely altered how we enjoy the Christmas holidays. Some of us may have been afflicted with this virus.

Due to the unknown course and subsequent manifestation of it, the impact it has had on our physical well-being ranges from mild to severe. Sadly, some of us too have experience the death of family members and friends. The hurt and the pain of loss is real. This reality renders us powerless which, in turn, sets the stage for a variety of mental health concerns. There exists increased numbers of individuals suffering anxiety and depression due to isolation and loneliness. Just as significant are the spiritual challenges, many and diverse as they may be, which too can overwhelm us.

A person’s faith and a person’s trust in God may be easily compromised. In short, we have discovered the last months as to how quickly we can be depleted of the energy we so need to be joyful and at peace.

And, yet, maybe this Christmas can be the best Christmas ever. This is not wishful thinking. Rather, this is what the beauty of Christmas wishes us to celebrate, namely, Jesus enters into our lives and our world as it is for us. As much as we would like to deny our darkness, it is the light of the Christ Child, the Newborn who affirms that it is God who knows what it is like to be a human being, a human being like you and I in every way except that of sin. The empathy Jesus affords ultimately assures us of His presence and His love. We are not alone. In particular, we are not alone in this pandemic.

The birth of Jesus this year does not take away magically this virus and its devastating effects. What the birth of Jesus does do is provide us with strength to battle this challenge. This is exactly which Jesus proclaimed throughout His Gospel ministry. Thus, Jesus is Savior.

Our task is to receive the Savior into our hearts and to ponder His presence. Whether we are aware of it or not, Jesus gives us the gift of Himself as He did His followers and His disciples. Jesus inspired them to look forward and to be all the more hope-filled. Suddenly a joy and a peace come about. Maybe, then, this can be the best Christmas ever.

Fr. McDermott

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church

 

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