The people who walked in darknesshave seen a great light;upon those who dwelt in the land of glooma light has shone.You have brought them abundant joyand great rejoicing,as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,as people make merry when dividing spoils.For the yoke that burdened them,the pole on their shoulder,and the rod of their taskmasteryou have smashed, as on the day of Midian.For every boot that tramped in battle,every cloak rolled in blood,will be burned as fuel for flames.For a child is born to us, a son is given us;upon his shoulder dominion rests.They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.His dominion is vastand forever peaceful,from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,which he confirms and sustainsby judgment and justice,both now and forever.The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
first reading at Christmas Midnight Mass
But this year, we will not do this together.
Some of our family members are in London, some in Tulsa, some in Oklahoma City. So when my brother and Mami arrive, five of us will gather at our table for a Nochebuena dinner here in Norman.
As Michael pointed out to me today, this will be our smallest Christmas setting in our (almost) 33 years of marriage!
Honestly, I am not complaining. I know just how spoiled I am every time we fill up a pew at church with just our family! And I know and truly believe that everyone is where they should be this Christmas. I feel deeply grateful for the meal we're about to share, the family that will be here at this table, and for the Midnight Mass that will follow.
I am also conscious that change continues to define my "new normal." Shoot. It's my only "normal"!
All I know to do is to go back to the basics, and today that means to go to the manger, keep my eyes on the Baby, sit with the newborn King of Kings.
May we make our hearts a pesebre, a manger, for the Prince of Peace.
|I have three new Nativities this year... and two of them are gifts|
from my generous father in law--this one from Haiti. And the one below,
a hipped Joseph! Isn't he great?