by Kathy Keary
The Scripture passages that enhance Christmastime reveal Mary and Joseph’s unwavering obedience to God’s plan. Parenting Jesus required a letting go of their needs in favor of nurturing this new born baby even to the extent of fleeing to Egypt to escape the cruelty of Herod. Most young parents appreciate the support of family when their first born enters their life. Instead of this luxury, Mary and Joseph were challenged with being a refugee in a foreign land. Being the parents of our Lord was not a walk in the park, but the task was always met with single-hearted commitment.
As we move to the New Year, let’s remember the example we have been given in the Holy Family – the epitome of total surrender to their Maker. As we ponder the beautiful gift that graced us over 2000 years ago, let’s reflect on what God is calling us to bring to life today. When we chant, “Sing a new song unto the Lord,” what are the melody and lyrics that we are moved to bring into 2015? What are the steps to the dance we long to enjoy with the Spirit of Love? What needs to be removed from our lives or our hearts to make room to be filled with the ways of the Divine? As the Gospel of John informs us: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
The Christmas season comes to a close with the Feast of the Epiphany when the wise men searched diligently for the King of Kings to welcome him with telling gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What message do we want our gifts to bring in this New Year? What talents are we called to offer in service of the common good? The gift of myrrh foreshadows the ultimate gift we acquired in Jesus: the gift of salvation, a liberation from the chains that bind us, and a freedom to sing a new song. How can we be an instrument of Christ’s love and reconciliation in our time and place? Is our life too much to ask in light of the offering our Savior freely extended for us?