So here I am again! The beginning of my second semester of college. I’m scared and excited, happy and sad, thrilled and apathetic. How can this be? Well let me explain something to you. College means new beginnings, it means responsibility and growth, but it also means leaving my family. Over Christmas break I got to experience so much joy! Being a part of a family, having a purpose being loved, these are the things that we all desire as human beings. It was truly heaven on earth for those few months. Not that we didn’t fight and forget things and make messes and let each other down, because we most definitely did, but it was beautiful because we did it together!
During the holiday season I feel like we are constantly striving for this mythical perfect Christmas. It’s like a snow globe where everyone is happy and singing carols and eating cookies and everyone’s together in the perfect little house decorated amazingly. Your true love is standing under the mistletoe and the snow is lightly falling outside waiting for the perfect snowman to elevate from the cloud of snow that seems to kiss the earth.
And every ear I think I want this perfect idea of Christmas, I find myself looking to the nativity. We have this adorable little button one where the characters are so cute, all smiling and all adorned with the most precious little buttons, but then I remember what it was really like. Mary and Joseph were in a foreign place where the streets were crowded and people were probably rude and dirty, they were tired and hungry and since they forgot to make a reservation, they thought they would have nowhere to stay. Mary was probably worried to death and Joseph was trying to provide for his new family, and in the midst of that Mary is going into labor! What a nightmare. They end up staying in a dark, cold little cave with animals that probably smelled and then Mary gave birth which was probably stressful.
I mean that has got to be the furthest thing from what we imagine to be the idea Christmas, but that was the true Christmas. That was the Christmas that changed the world. That night there was peace on earth and goodwill toward man. That night was filled with joy, not because the lights on the tree were perfect, or it smelled like cookies or they were wearing fancy clothes, or in a nice place, actually they had the exact opposite of all of that, but they were together. They had made it together with love. That family love made everything better. The fact that Mary and Joseph had faith that God knew what He was doing even if we think it’s crazy. They had hope, and faith and love; a kind of procreative love that worked with God and was total, faithful, fruitful and free. This is what made the perfect Christmas thousands of years ago; a sacramental love that conquered all the craziness, worries and doubt that this world bombarded this devout couple with child so many years ago. That is why we must turn to God this Christmas season so when our Christmas seems like a disaster, God can make it a manifestation of His love.
And this is why I’m sad that Christmas is over (epiphany was last week btw), not because it was perfect, but because in the imperfection God did something amazing! He showed the world a family founded on real love that conquers all. And this is how I want to start my semester. Knowing that it will be crazy and dirty and smelly, but through God’s incarnating love, my craziness will be made perfect if I entrust it to Him!