In our blasphemous sinful world the Holy Family is
striking and magnificent- if only for being Father, Mother and Child.
Allow yourself to be lost in the innocence of childlike Faith
and appreciate real Christmas joy.
Painting by Murillo.
This Mass became a reflection for me on the rarity of children. I know there are children somewhere. They are learning in schools and playing at parks. But where are the children at Mass? Our family is not something special at all. We don't get to daily Mass very often. In fact, I usually barely manage to have everyone's shoes on by the time we enter the Church. But this one time we made it, we were almost the only children there. And that is sad.
It is Advent. Baby Jesus is coming. Christmas morning will be joyous and marvelous in our home; and for the grown ups- parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles- the wonders of Christmas will be imparted more intensely through the children!
Why? These children are innocent. Innocence gives children a marvelous Faith in the Incarnation of the Christ Child, a heartfelt desire for Heaven and such fine enjoyment in the beauty of life! After all, Christmas is about new life: man's hope for Paradise reborn at Bethlehem and the powerful principle of the Incarnation, blending human and divine. The Christian family is also about welcoming and nourishing life, not alone, but- through grace- working directly with God.
So these old Churchgoers at Saturday Mass see children and they are moved to say kind words to me. They love children and welcome us there in the Church where we bring them before their Creator.
Christmas is a perfect time to love children and families. But where are the children at Christmas? Many children are not at the Manger! There is barrenness in the world that goes beyond childless marriages or the evils of contraception and abortion. There is the barrenness of Christmas without baby Jesus! There is the barrenness of a society without God.
Christmas needs the properly structured Christian family to give the wondrous joy of little children.
Look at the children around you and share their joy at welcoming our Savior. Bring them to the manger and watch their little faces look upon the Christ Child beside His beautiful Mother. Tell them she will watch over you too and bring your intentions to Him! Meditate on St. Joseph's remarkable role. Tell them of his brave virtue, offering leadership and security to the Holy Family as their own father does. In our blasphemous sinful world the Holy Family is striking and magnificent- if only for being Father, Mother and Child. Allow yourself to be lost in the innocence of childlike Faith and appreciate real Christmas joy.