Today’s Mass readings (for the morning Mass, not Christmas service) include this reading from the Gospel:
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt. 11:28-30)
Christmas Eve can often be a day of hectic preparation for many people. Perhaps this is unavoidable, especially if one must work until Christmas Eve….and I know it’s likely as I am making some Christmas cake that I’ll discover that we are out of flour, or sugar, or…and so off one of us will go to the store to brave the crowds. Still, Christmas Eve perhaps more than any day in Advent is a day made for restful anticipation. Jesus the adult will tell us that his burden is light, that he shares our loads along with us. The baby Jesus shows this even more clearly in his coming to be among us. Newborn babies are a joy to be around, but they really don’t do very much, aside from eat and sleep, with the occasional open eye glance up at us. We delight in every baby because that baby IS, for the pure existence of new life, and not for what the baby does or achieves.
God delights in us in the same way. Just as Mary’s gaze upon the baby Jesus was a gaze of admiration of Jesus’s pure being, because we are also united with Jesus, God gives us that same gaze of love and admiration. The Prince of Peace comes to give us an interior peace, and one way that we can experience this is to choose to set aside a little time for rest, for quiet, for resting in the gaze of God’s Love and admiration of each one of us. Perhaps we can also pass on this peace by contemplating either in our mind’s or in our gaze of family and friends and even strangers whom we meet today, that they are also the same recipients of God’s look of love. Let us enjoy the lightness of the Light.
Merry Christmas, everyone!