Wednesday, December 24, 2008
What Christmas Means to Me
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. It is incredibly magical - the lights, the tree, the carols, the feeling of selflessness and service that fills everyone's hearts. Christmas is about returning to our childhood. We get to pull out those old movies and practice those family traditions that have defined us since our lives began. Christmas brings out faith and wonder in all of us. And this year, Christmas has been about coming home. That has truly been the best Christmas gift of all for me. After 6 months on my own up in Utah, I know get to come back home and be surrounded by the love of my family. Words cannot describe the relief and joy that that has brought me.
But most of all, what Christmas means to me is wonder and awe at the miracle of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas makes me take a step back and realize all He has done for me. It humbles and amazes me. I am amazed that He went through all of our pains and afflictions - both physical and emotional - out of love for us. I am amazed that after going through a humiliating death, He rose again after three days. I am amazed that because of these things, we too can rise again.
Christ is so merciful. When I mess up really badly, He always forgives me. It is amazing to know that even though I am so imperfect and never seem to get it right, the most perfect man who ever lived forgives me and makes me clean. What incredible love! When I have a hard day and there is no shoulder for me to cry on, He hears my cries and dries my tears. He is truly "my song in the night." When all the world seems chaotic and hopeless, Christ is able to bring peace to my soul. When I can't do something alone, I go to Him and He helps me succeed. And so, at this time of year, I celebrate the miracle of His birth - but more importantly, the miracle of His life, and the miracle of forgiveness that He continually offers to us.
I know with all my heart that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lived and atoned for our sins and sorrows. I know that He was resurrected and lives today. I know that through Him alone can we receive a fulness of joy in this life and in the life to come. I am so grateful for all He does for me, and hope that you too can have His peace this Christmas.
O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in præsepio.
Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia!
O great mystery
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord
lying in their manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia!