What is my Christmas moment?

An article in a Catholic magazine prompted me to ask the question during this holy season:

What is my Christmas moment?

What is it that prompts me to see what the shepherds and the magi saw and the scribes and Pharisees missed — the breaking through history of the greatest event of all time — the birth of the son of God into our world?

What insight or event here and now impacts me to realize concretely Christmas in my life today? What helps me put in perspective the turmoil and tragedies of our times: the scandals in the church, the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, terrorist acts of vengeance of general, my own sinfulness in particular, my narrowness of vision, my irritability or even instability at times, my occasional hostile attitudes or acts towards others, a job loss, a serious family problem, a broken relationship, a sudden, serious illness or death of someone in my family, being alone at Christmas?

What enables me to become an instrument of God’s grace, of his birth into my world, into my history — today?

Is there something I could be doing, am doing, or am trying to do today that will make a difference, make an impact on the world I live in for the better? Is there something God is doing to me or through me to impact my life and, consequently, the lives of others?

Can I take a moment this Christmas just to reflect on what is my Christmas moment this Christmas — 2003?

How have I experienced God’s love channeling through me?

Perhaps on a visit to a total stranger in a hospital or nursing home; perhaps through writing a card or letter to someone I have been alienated from for years; perhaps through a word of forgiveness to someone who has offended me or a word or apology to someone I have offended; perhaps through just sitting still for an hour a day before the Blessed Sacrament to allow God to speak to me, to speak to me about this plan of action for the world or simply about my own life.

How have I allowed my life to be an instrument of God’s grace this Christmas, to allow God to break through an otherwise dismal and dreary scene or situation and totally turn it around so that it will now become a venue of God’s coming into the world, the world of today?

What is my Christmas moment?

Offer a prayer; make a commitment toward doing something constructive, some random act of kindness as soon as possible; and finally light a candle as a symbol of your prayer and constructive action, a Christmas symbol of hope that will bring light to the world in which we live.

Rejoice in hope!