United States Conference of Secular institutes

2020 Christmas USCSI Mountaineer

Secular Institutes

Christmas 2020
Dear Friends,
Well, here we are – Christmas in the year of COVID-19. Can we travel? Will we be able to gather with
our family? How can I shop for gifts that I cannot see or touch? Will the post office deliver my packages on
time? Will we even be able to worship in Church if there are too many people? … Really?
This seems to be the theme of many conversations at this time. Certainly it is important to celebrate as
a community, but aren’t we missing something more important?
Jesus is coming regardless of what the government restrictions will be on December 24. As a matter of
fact, I think the situation in Bethlehem was quite similar to our situation today. For whatever reason, Mary
and Joseph were denied the comfort of being with their relatives. They were forced to “stay at home” with
animals.
As much as I love adorable little donkeys and cows with big, liquid
eyes, I think the stable was probably not the sweet smelling, clean home
that we find in our Christmas crèches of today. Fortunately, the shepherds dared to break the quarantine and came to worship the Christ
Child, but that would have been minutes or possibly a few hour’s respite
from the seclusion. The whole world should have come to worship their
God!
Maybe that is a hint for this Advent/Christmas season, namely, not
to leave Jesus alone but to find extra time to spend in Advent longing,
keeping Mary company as she both “nests” in preparation for the coming
of the baby and adores the God under her heart, or to “waste” time
sitting by the crib during the Christmas season.
The quiet and aloneness urge us to pay attention to the God who is
always knocking at the door of our hearts. Even we, though consecrated,
can be distracted and filled with noise inside and out. God speaks the
language of silence and he wants us to hear how much he is longing to
spend Christmas with us, every day.
Come, Lord Jesus, my heart is open and awake. I don’t want to miss
you.
Merry Christmas and blessings for the coming New Year.
Marcia Vinje

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