Christmas Lights

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“There will be many beautiful lights [this Christmas]. You – be a light. Be the face of Christ for others.”

Fr. A. said this way back in the beginning of Advent. A Saturday or two later I was back in evening Mass again, seated behind a tall man. He had snow white hair, and wore a bone white sweater. Though I was directly behind, I could see that he actively participated in the Mass, singing the songs, and so on. When it came time for the sign of peace he turned around. His face was tan and deeply wrinkled and his eyes were brown, and he gave me the most beautiful, kindly smile. There was no judgement in his face, no kind of mask – just an expression of kindness and goodness. His look warmed me inside, and the warmth lasted a long time. For Christ plays in ten thousand places, says Hopkins’ wonderful poem; lovely in eyes and limbs not his, to the Father, through the features of men’s faces. I wish I could be more like that man!

Merry Christmas, my dear people. May your ham’s glaze be beauteous and your potatoes done to a turn, and may your children (and grandchildren) eat their vegetables without complaining one bit.

 

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