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A Christmas "Pome"

Patricia McCarthy, CND

The eight year old child wrote a poem as a gift. I quote it exactly as it was written:

Christmas Pome

On Christmas day

You wake up to

Presints, and

Everyone thinks it’s pleasint.

But the most pleasint thing of all is

Jesus being born.

Global conversations and news’ reports constantly discuss the Christmas of 2020 and speculate on what it will look like: restrictions, surges in COVID-19, state travel bans, numbers at Christmas Masses, long lines for food for the hungry, closings. These are the realities of Christmas this year.  Many are suffering recent losses of loved ones, some due to the Coronavirus. It seems more like sorrow on earth than peace on earth.

Perhaps this season we are pushed into examining what is the peace of Christ celebrated at Christmas? What is the very Feast of Christmas? The youngest child knows it is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We haven’t grown in our faith if, as adults, we still think it is that simple.

Two thousand years ago Jesus became incarnate; he was born fully human and yet God. No one knows what month or day it happened. That is really irrelevant. If we only celebrate that birth centuries ago by remembering it, we miss Christmas. By our Baptism, we share in that incarnation of Jesus. We have been baptized into Christ. We believe that we are invited to live in the Presence of this Jesus every moment of our life. We believe this Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem once, is born in us over and over.

Whenever an act of love, a gesture of compassion, an effort toward peace or a reconciliation with others is done, Christ is present in a new way. To live with Jesus is to always be about birth. There is birth when the hungry are fed and the homeless are sheltered. There is new life when the imprisoned are remembered and the sick are accompanied in prayer. Regulations may keep us out of the visiting rooms in jails or distance us from the ill in hospital beds, but no rule can keep us from being in prayer with those who suffer. Convalescent homes may keep us from the company of our loved ones, but no one can keep our hearts from them. And we will find ways to let them know we are with them. Instead of one Christmas card this year, we can send them one every day in December. Calling occasionally can become calling regularly and more often. For those who yearn to show love, ways will open up.

The little child knew at 8 years old that “presints” aren’t essential to Christmas. It is “Jesus being born.” Her spelling may be imperfect but her verb tense is spot on. Jesus is being born today, tomorrow and forever. The essential worker for peace on earth today is the one who welcomes the Christ child in whatever disguise he wears. The essential worker for peace believes, hopes and loves --- and celebrates birth!

Article first published by the Rhode Island Catholic


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