There are so many pro-life themes upon which we could reflect at Christmas time: Mary’s ‘yes’ to God’s will in her life, the care of St. Joseph for Mary and the Infant Christ, the plight of the Holy Family travelling. Instead, let us focus on one idea: hope.
It is easy to miss the wonderment of the Christmas story. We have heard it repeated so often; we know how it goes: a donkey, no room at the inn, angels, shepherds, wise men.
For the Jewish people, the birth of Jesus Christ was so much more: they had literally been waiting centuries for this very moment. The coming of the Messiah had been foretold by the prophets and been preached by rabbis in the temple for generations. Thousands and thousands of people had patiently awaited the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel. The Jewish people had grown up hearing about the Savior coming to redeem the world since they were children. Most probably believed this event would never happen in their lifetime.
At Christmas, He, whom the prophets had foretold, was born. In the tiny, forgotten town of Bethlehem, the very fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation was happening. The hope of the nations and of the ages was made real, at long last. The Redeemer had come, not with fancy clothes or special fanfare, but almost imperceptibly. Finally, the patient hope of generations was fulfilled, but in a manner that caught even the religious scholars of the time off-guard.
Hope in Christ
This Christmas season should be a time for renewed hope for each of us. God is truly faithful and fulfills His promises. Because God is trustworthy, our hope is something true and tangible, not just wishful thinking. In the Son of God becoming man, Jesus Christ makes visible that very hope. He has come into the world to give us a new strength in our journey to holiness. It is a hope that assures us that God is still at work here and now; He has not abandoned us.
When we think back on this past year, we may feel chagrined at some of our less stellar actions or feel disappointed because our plans haven’t quite worked out the way we anticipated. As we prepare to attend the March for Life in January, we may have doubts as to whether our presence really effects change and makes a difference.
The celebration of Christmas reminds us that God is still with us, bringing good out of difficult situations. He is still with us and loves us with an unimaginable love. The hope we find in Christmas assures us that God is still at work here and now; He has not abandoned us.We may not necessarily see the fruits of our labors when we want and the path to get there may be a lot more messy than we anticipated, but, as Christian people, we have assured hope that Christ is King and Savior of the world.
May you be blessed with faith, joy, and hope this Christmas!