The Mystery of Mid-December

praying-childBy Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

During these last 3 weeks of Advent, we have reflected on the words, Watch, Prepare, and Light. They are themes taken from the Sunday readings.

On our 4th and final Sunday, the readings direct us to the word Mystery. It is used by Paul in his letter to the Romans.

We have plenty of mysteries today. For instance, isn’t it a mystery that the ELF on the SHELF is such a motivator for a child’s behavioral change? In my day, it was Santa’s Elves peeking in the window to tell Santa of our wrongdoings. (My father used that one frequently.)

Our motivation to change was our desire for the toys we hoped for from Santa. But what of the adults in our lives? How do we account for their transformations just about now?

Isn’t it a mystery when the recalcitrant office worker or supervisor begins to work faster, smile more and actually say, “Thank you?”

Isn’t it a mystery when the couple – locked in disagreement since November – suddenly reconcile and let their anger go?

What is the magic in the air, the sky or earth that softens our hearts, changes our tone of voice, eases our indifference into graciousness?

Surely you have noticed this phenomenon. The grocery bagger, the postal worker, the Sister in the next choir stall.

And you and I! We all are converted, we are all changed interiorly … at least for a couple of weeks.

What’s the magic? Think about it.

Looking into my own heart and you into yours, don’t we have to agree that the mystery lies in the unspeakable generosity of a God who not only came to earth but who shares divinity, Godness with us?

Paul puts it this way, “The mystery kept secret for long ages now manifested by a God come to earth” (Romans 16).

My 2-year-old grandniece puts it another. Margaret simply twirls a ballerina dance when she hears the word Christmas.

Today, let’s vow, decide, at least try to let the Godness in our hearts dance out loud.

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