By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB
Last Christmas, I asked my niece, Lisa, how the Christmas play went for the kindergarten children at St. Joseph School. Her 5-year-old son, Matthew, was to be a shepherd. Lisa laughed.
The packed church had been hushed as the tiny children started down the long aisle, solemn and pious, toward the Nativity. Suddenly Mary dropped the baby – a doll, of course! – on the floor to fix her hair. When finished, she scooped the infant up and skipped to catch up with Joseph (who had kept walking). The audience had laughed, as did Lisa and I at the retelling of the delightful scene.
Later, it came to me that perhaps the initial solemnity and piety is what we all do at Christmas time. We are very reverent about the coming of a God to the earth. We say prayers of gratitude, penitence, supplication and adoration. We are in awe as we read the Gospel: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, For he has come to his people and set them free. (Luke 1:67-68)
But maybe, just maybe, the little Mary has something to teach us. That is, God’s coming to earth has brought all of us new hope, new freedom, new awareness that God is among us, God is with us. We can lay down our burdens, skip and dance and laugh. God the loving Father, Care-Taker, Savior will REALLY take care of us.
So, who really cares if everything’s not perfect? Who cares if the gifts are not wrapped just right, the turkey is dry and the gravy is lumpy?
Perhaps giving God all our worries, sorrows and cares, can free us to dance down the aisles of our life.
Our God has come to save us … all of us. Let’s dance!
A beautiful and light hearted story, and so true. Sometimes scholar’s, in their attempt to give us a meaning to life, get caught up in the dialogue. What you said here is very simple, humble, and worth copying, to reread when caught up in the fast pace of everyday life. Thanks Sister Cleary, and I wish you and all the Sisters a very happy and blessed New Year.
Thank you for your response. I debated on which direction to go with the incident. I never know if anyone reads the reflections or not!
Thank you also for the greetings for the community. Have you been to our monastery? If not, you are very welcome to come for a visit. I will give you a tour.
I did nto hear how this year’s pageant went. Nephew Sean was in it this time; he is 4 years old. A blessed New Year.
Sr. Catherine Cleary