Merry Christmas!  You notice I am writing on the 30th of December.  Well, the Church celebrate the Octave of Christmas (8 days like it is one) and then the Christmas Season goes until January 13th which is the Baptism of the Lord.  I wanted to share some thoughts about Pope Benedict’s Christmas Eve Message.  For the whole text please click below.

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Christmas Message:

I thought the following was very insightful and applicable to today: “In our daily life, it is not like that[to go in haste or at once to see Jesus like the shepherds did].  For most people, the things of God are not given priority, they do not impose themselves on us directly. And so the great majority of us tend to postpone them. First we do what seems urgent here and now. In the list of priorities God is often more or less at the end. We can always deal with that later, we tend to think. The Gospel tells us: God is the highest priority. If anything in our life deserves haste without delay, then, it is God’s work alone.

What seems urgent here and now… As a Director of Religious Formation this really hit me.  I feel that there is always a lot of work to be done and sometimes I don’t take much time to really stop and “go over” to see Jesus in the church or the Adoration Chapel.  I really need to reflect on this and             remember to put God as my first priority.  Granted, I’m always trying to           seek Him and do His will but I need to always seek to put Him first to                make sure He is always leading me and guiding me in my ministry – not           the other ways around.

…”God is important, by far the most important thing in our lives. The shepherds teach us this priority. From them we should learn not to be crushed by all the pressing matters in our daily lives.”  Don’t we feel so busy in our lives that we can feel “crushed by all the pressing matters” (our jobs, life with a family, sporting events, getting together with friends, volunteer opportunities or gatherings we want to go to or event we want to attend).

Pope Benedict continues, “Time given to God and, in his name, to our neighbor is never time lost. It is the time when we are most truly alive, when we live our humanity to the full.”   This is so true!

Pope Benedict concludes with these words which is so true as we go forth from Christmas 2009: “Lord Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, come to us! Enter within me, within my soul. Transform me. Renew me. Change me, change us all from stone and wood into living people, in whom your love is made present and the world is transformed. Amen.”

May this Christmas Season and the beginning of a new year be the beginning of a deeper transformation and renewal in our lives!  Here are the three things I’ll be focusing on:

1) Seeking to go in haste to visit Jesus (prayer time) and put him first in my life.

2) Allowing all the things that seem pressing in my life to not get in the way of loving Christ and my neighbor.

3) continually seeking to be transformed so Christ’s love can bring real change in my life and hopefully those around me.