Creighton University's Online Ministries
of the Christmas season,
we offer a brief Daily Prayer.
For help in using the Daily Prayer,
read this Guide to Daily Prayer.
Christmas is a Season, not simply one day
While so many of our cultures only celebrate the build-up to Christmas, as a faith community we celebrate Christmas for three weeks. And, there is much to celebrate here, much to enter into more deeply. Too often, the days before Christmas are too busy to enter into the meaning of this feast or to reflect on the daily scriptures and the graces that are offered us, in our concrete life circumstances. This first week is a time for us to enter into the stories of special saints who are associated with the Birth of our Lord because of their innocence: our first martyr, the Disciple Jesus loved and the Holy Innocents. Next week, we return to the days after Jesus' birth.
this First Week Offers Us
December 26, the day after Christmas, is the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Martyr. The reading from Acts takes us into the story of his being stoned by an infuriated crowd.
On December 27th, we traditionally celebrate the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. This apostle's name is associated with the wonderful tradition and writings that receive his name. This week, our reflection is framed by the wonderful words of the First Letter of John and the story from the Fourth Gospel of Simon Peter and “the other disciple whom Jesus loved” ran to find the empty tomb on Easter morning.
On December 28th, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents. This celebration takes us back into the infancy narrative of Matthew. The account of how Jesus begins his journey to become one with us, is powerfully told as a journey of Jesus' entering into the journey of his people, with the flight into Egypt and the horrible slaughter of the innocent children. This very difficult scene is important for us to reflect upon as we imagine the unborn and the newly born who are so unjustly deprived of dignity and life today.
This week we keep asking for the grace to celebrate his coming among us. Each of us can keep growing in a sense of freedom and joy over the gift we have been given to know God's love for us and presence with us more deeply. It is a week of gratitude.
However, if our celebration of the days before Christmas and Christmas Day itself were busy or even difficult, then this can be a week of recovery and added time to let Our Lord come into our lives where we need him to come.
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