(Not exactly) a Christmas story

One of my closest friends is not a regular church goer. At the same time, she is a person who loves Jesus very much and has experienced His presence in her life many times. He is her friend, supporter and the leader of her life. One of the many things which amaze me is that every time she participates in the Mass, receiving Jesus in the Eucharist makes her full of tears and evokes a feeling of peace and love from Him. The power of Jesus’s presence makes it very special every time he comes to her heart.
Sometimes when I go for daily Mass and as the Mass is coming to an end, I realise that I do not remember much of the liturgy which has just been celebrated. Thoughts of what lies ahead of me throughout the day have occupied my mind during Mass and I realise that I do not even remember the Gospel which was proclaimed. Just recently was one of those days. As I lined up for the Communion and opened my hand for the Body of Christ and said “Amen”, I remembered my friend’s experience and started to pray more intentionally: “Jesus, let me be like You, let me be You for others, let me love You as You love me.”
Once a month I volunteer to distribute Holy Communion during the parish Sunday Eucharist. Part of the “deal” of being an extraordinary minister of the Holy Eucharist is to take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound in the parish. I enjoy this “little I can do” service very much. To carry Jesus in my bag, getting Him to the car and going to the places where He is awaited is always enriching. Most of the time those waiting for Holy Communion are elderly people who cannot make it to the church anymore. It is great to see how important it is for them to receive Jesus. Some of them wait with a cross and candles on the table. Others just sit there in the comfy chair, waiting for their turn. Usually the prayer together finishes with a chat about what is on their Sunday agenda: upcoming outings, visitors or “uneventful, quiet times.”
The presence of another person, the reality of our life relationships, can bring both the biggest joy and the greatest hurt and grief in our hearts. The presence of God in our hearts helps to heal us from those moments of grief and sorrow and brighten up those moments to keep us going.
In our Christian theology, the time of Christmas is called the “mystery of the Incarnation”. This describes Jesus’s embodiment of God in an earthly form. To put it simply: the Son of God “became man” (John 1:14) – he became present to humankind in ways we can experience Him and He can understand us.
May this Christmas be a time of experiencing His presence of love and peace in our own life and in the life of others.

Sr Grace Roclawska

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