It’s almost Christmas!!!
I think that in the midst of shopping for gifts, doing holiday-related activities like ice skating or visiting the tree in Rockefeller Center, we forget what we’re really celebrating.
This week, I went to mass and the main celebrant was Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York. If you’re not Catholic or have never been to a Catholic mass, after reading from the Gospel, the priest who is celebrating mass gives a homily – a message to the people about what we’ve learned through the readings in this mass.
Through his homily, he reminded me of two things: 1. Christmas is a BIG deal in regards to the fate of humanity and 2. waiting for Christmas/the birth of Jesus teaches us that waiting is good.
So why is Christmas such a big deal? All of Heaven probably stopped during the Annunciation. The Annunciation was when Angel Gabriel came to earth to announce to Mary that she was chosen by God to give birth to cute little baby Jesus. So many things happened in that reading (Luke 1:26-38), but one thing specifically happened that I never noticed or thought of before. Cardinal Dolan opened up my eyes to a piece of information that I’ve overlooked. Gabriel was sent to announce God’s plan to Mary. All of Heaven must’ve been looking down in anticipation of her answer. All of humanity and its salvation was in the hands of a 15 or 16-year-old girl and her decision to say yes or no to God’s plan.
I don’t know about any of you, but I definitely was not that mature at 16. But imagine Abraham, Isaac, or even Adam and Eve biting their nails in anticipation (maybe not, but I like to add a little animation to the Bible). Heaven stopped and waited for Mary’s yes. So simply put, there would be no Christmas without that three letter word.
So, how does this pertain to us and our lives today? We live our lives waiting for things. Waiting for things that we want or want to obtain, but as the Cardinal put it, “God is worth the wait. We use a microwave and God uses a slow cooker.” But, in my experience, whenever I’ve waited for Him, I’ve never been disappointed. We live this life in such a rush that we aren’t comfortable with things happening within God’s time. So we take it into our own hands, then things don’t work out, or we get hurt, heartbroken, disappointed. It’s better to wait for what is really our’s.
I hope that within this season we learn to wait for what’s most important and what’s really meant to be our’s. And I hope that we’re all brave enough to say yes to who we’re meant to be. Merry Christmas!