December 12, 2021
by Tom Lenz
Creighton University's Department of Pharmacy Practice
click here for photo and information about the writer

Third Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 92

Zephaniah 3:14-18a
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:10-18

Praying Advent Home Page

Pope Francis on this day-2014

Elizabeth Remembers
A Parent Reflects on Joseph & Mary

Story of Our Lady's appearance at Guadalupe

What a delight to reflect on the readings for today. They remind me of what it felt like to be a child again at Christmas time. Each of the readings are filled with hope, joy, and the anticipation that something great is about to happen.

The Second Reading to the Philippians, in particular, makes me think of an especially joyous and peaceful moment from my childhood. I was about 10 years old and it was Christmas Eve morning before the sun came up. I was out on my paper route delivering newspapers and was by myself, which was not unusual because I grew up in a small town and could walk most everywhere. I was almost finished with my route when the snow started falling. I remember stopping at a street corner not far from my house and just watched the snow fall. I was so quiet and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I wanted to stay on that street corner forever because everything in the world seemed right just as it was.

Now, nearly four decades later, I think about that moment as my first memory and experience with Reality – the way Life is without all the clutter. The way God lives in and through me and with all that is. I think I wanted to stay on that street corner because I was overwhelmed by experiencing God all around me – Christ was everywhere! (even though I couldn’t articulate it at the time) Christ was in the snow, in the Christmas lights, and in the silence. Paul says in the Second Reading to the Philippians, “Rejoice!”  “the Lord is near;” “have no anxiety at all,” and “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” This is what that 10 year old boy was experiencing in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve long ago. Wow! It is proof to me that God is always present and there is always reason to “Rejoice!”

Sometimes in my adult life I get a little cynical this time of year, though. All the craziness of the lights, the extra items on the “to do” list, and the overemphasis on consumerism draws me in the opposite direction from feelings of peace and joy. It is easy to get caught up in the craziness and its even easier to get a little grumpy, it seems. But, thinking about that 10 year old boy makes me think that the Christmas craziness is not all bad. I’m sure that part of my excitement all those years ago came from being excited for Santa Claus and I know that the Christmas lights that hung on my neighbor’s house touched me in a special way that particular morning. Perhaps God is not just touching us through Midnight Mass, but also through the Christmas crazies. Christ was present and available to me through everything I experienced that Christmas Eve morning and I think that is still the case in all that I am present to during this Christmas season – even the craziness. I hope to be present to as much as I am able this Christmas season so that I can experience the Reality that is the Season. There is good reason to “Rejoice!” because “The Lord is near.”

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook