Daily Reflection
December 24th, 1999
Don Driscoll, S.J.
Pharmacy School Chaplain

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16
Psalms 89:2-5, 27, 29
Luke 1:67-79

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and redeemed his people."

What a striking thought from today's liturgy!  God with us, God around us, and God within us.  I often wonder why I don't feel this reality all year long.  Then I came to this realization.  The traditional Christmas story tells us that when Mary and Joseph came to Bethlehem, they could find no place to stay. There was no room in the inn--no place for Jesus to be born.  Often when I would pray for help with a specific situation or problem, nothing would happen. Then came this graced insight.  I'm a compulsive saver, a pack-rat.  When I was complaining about all my mounting "treasures" to my mother a few years ago, she said:  "Donald, did you ever see a U-Haul following a hearse?  Pitch it!"  I thought about her insight a lot and came to the realization that I was doing exactly the same thing spiritually.  I would pray regularly for Jesus to come into my heart to help me with this or that and nothing would occur, no light, no solution, no peace.  "Why not,"  I kept asking myself.  Then my mother's statement linked to the gospel words:  "There's no room in the inn."  Jesus would try to be born in my heart but I was filled, filled with worry, doubt, and a hundred other preoccupations.  And Jesus would say:  "I'll wait."

Now throughout my day, or before prayer, and before communion, I cleanse the "clutter" and allow Jesus to be born in the stable of my heart.  And I'm no longer alone.  And that has made all the difference in my world. 

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus tomorrow and every day left to us, may he find a fresh and warm welcome in the open inn of our hearts.  I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a healthy, peace-filled New Year as we celebrate the two thousandth anniversary of the coming of God's only begotten son into our world and into our hearts.

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