Just yesterday I talked with Zack, a 30 year-old father of two young children, about Christmas morning. He glowingly spoke of the joy of his son's first glimpse of the gifts under the tree. Days after Christmas Zack still held this memory close to his heart. This week's Gospel provides us with a glimpse of a Christmas gift:
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:16-21
In the midst of the story of the shepherds visit we are given a glimpse of Mary's experience. A brand new, young mother receiving confirmation from strangers, the shepherds, that her newborn baby boy was the Messiah. Now that's a memory not soon forgotten!
This time of year we tend to be reflective. We share stories of our favorite Christmases past. We seek to spend time with loved ones. We exchange gifts. All because of that first Christmas gift.
Like Zack's little boy we are to look upon the gift of the Christ child through eyes of wonder and joy.
Then, we are to be like the shepherds who "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen" share that wonder and joy with everyone we meet.