Christmas Day Reflection - Luke 2:15-20
Tina Cisarik , Dominican Volunteers USA , Catholic Volunteer Network staff
“ Then the shepherds returned , glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen .” ( Lk 2:20a ) The shepherds waited , the shepherds saw , the shepherds acted with haste . Where Advent is a time of waiting , the celebration of the Nativity on Christmas calls us into a time of acting and rejoicing . Christmas is an invitation , a challenge of sorts , to carry the glory of our Lord ’ s humble birth to others .
This is easier said than done , as the days following Christmas often unfold with exhausting travel , jam-packed workdays , and a desire to return to a more normal routine . On the outside , it often looks as though the celebration is over . Decorations are put away in dusty closets . Your inbox overflows with urgent requests before the new year begins . However , the role of the shepherds in this Gospel reminds us that the story of our newborn Savior lives on – in our words , our actions , and our praise – if only we let it .
After all , the shepherds are much like us ( and those in the communities where we live and serve beside ). They are blue collar workers in the margins of society , laboring to make ends meet . They are human people with human concerns . Yet it is through them that the truth of Jesus ’ birth is revealed : a humble child , born to a young mother in an unfamiliar land , has come to liberate us , guide us , and unite us in his love . And it is through them that others are invited into this ever lasting story .
Now it is our turn to do the same . Your invitation today is to be a carrier of this Truth to others , to consider how you as an individual and as a member of your community can be a messenger of such Good News far beyond the Christmas season . Today , you ’ re invited to learn as the shepherds learned , believe as the shepherds believed , and rejoice as the shepherds rejoiced . Go bring Christmas to others !
God of Humility and Freedom , Thank you for the gift of your child , who came to us in a familiar way , so we could more deeply see the purpose you have set out for us . Guide us in your wisdom to carry the story of your Child ’ s birth to others we encounter , especially those who are hurting and in need of your liberating love , and those who keep others oppressed . May we notice those who reveal to us the face of the infant Jesus , and may they notice his face in us .
Many causes , nonprofit organizations , and community programs are well-funded and supported during the holidays , but struggle during the rest of the year . To keep the message of Christmas alive long after the season , I invite you to contact an organization you learned about this season ( or have volunteered with in the past ) and find out the best way to be involved the rest of the year . Whether the program addresses hunger or refugee resettlement , childhood literacy or foster care , prison ministry or human rights , use the Christmas Gospel as inspiration to seek the face of God in others , especially those often pushed to the margins . Don ’ t forget to share about this cause or program with others , as we are stronger as the Body of Christ !