God’s Powerful Love

For me, Christmas is a day when a deep, quiet and warm sense of God’s providence and love for us underlies and carries our often hectic–and sometimes awkward– efforts to celebrate with family and friends.

St. Luke’s recounting of the birth of Jesus with angels singing “glory to God in the highest” might romanticize the actual experience of Mary and Joseph just a tad.  When I hear this story, I can’t help but think of Linus recounting it at the end of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas.” Of course, there is lush, beautiful music accompanying that happy television ending to a hard day in the life of Charlie Brown with his less-than-perfect Christmas tree. But somehow I think that giving birth in a stable far away from home was not the way Mary and Joseph would have wanted to start their life with Jesus. But that’s okay.

None of our lives are perfect either. However and with whomever we celebrate with this day, whether with family or friends, however many or however few, let’s remember that Jesus came into this broken, yet beautiful world to heal it by unleashing the power of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. He offers that same power to each of us everyday. And that has made all the difference!

—Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ is the provincial of the Chicago-Detroit province of the Society of Jesus.