I am borrowing the words of St. Paul to his good friends in Phillipi as my greeting to you:
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (Philippians 1:3-6, The Message Bible translation)
This short greeting is meant to let you know that I am thinking of you and thanking God that you are in my life. On Christmas Day, may Christ find a dwelling place of faith, hope, and love in our hearts. John Foley, SJ set this prayer to music in Dwelling Place (1976). Although the song has been around for many years, it is still included in current hymnals, including the one we use at my church. (You can find a YouTube video performance by googling the title and composer.)
May Christ find a dwelling place of love in our hearts,
May our lives be rooted in love, rooted in love.
May grace and peace be yours in God our Father and in his son.
As you celebrate Christmastide with your family, you may want to reflect on one or more of these questions:
Q. When has the birth of a child brought joy and gladness to you or those you love (Luke 1:14)?
Q. Joseph and Mary had to travel to Joseph’s ancestral home for a census. If you had to return to an ancestral home, where would you have to go?
Q.Simeon had been waiting to see the Messiah before he died (Luke 2:23). What are some things you most hope God will allow you to see in your lifetime?
Q. How did the traditions of celebrating Christmas change for you throughout your life? How did you celebrate when you were a child? a parent? a grandparent?