It’s a great time of year, isn’t it?
While we pray for all those for whom the Christmas/New Year season brings pain, sorrow, or loneliness, we also thank the Lord for the joy he gives us in celebrating his birth, and in realizing that “Merry Christmas” doesn’t mean that everything is necessarily going well, but rather that even if everything around us falls apart, we still have access to God, to salvation, to victory over evil, and to eternal life!
That’s why we can be “merry,” and that is the basis for the kind of hope of which Pope Benedict XVI speaks in his new encyclical.
This is a time of year when we also get together with relatives whom we may not see much at other times of the year. This is a blessing.
As many people indicate to me, it can also be a cause of some sorrow. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, the tragedy of life is not what we suffer. It’s what we miss.
While many are blessed with relatives with whom they can celebrate the fullest and deepest meaning of Christmas, very many also experience the disconnect of being together with people they love who don’t share the joy of loving the Lord. Perhaps they are far from any meaningful practice of the faith; perhaps they don’t even share the fundamental commitment to the sanctity of life – without which Christmas makes no sense.
Or perhaps they just don’t understand why you’re so passionate and intense about the faith and the pro-life movement.
This problem is one of the limitations of this life that will be fully removed only in the life to come. Meanwhile, let’s witness to our families and come together as often as possible with our friends and colleagues who share our deepest passion for the Lord.