It’s Christmas! The excitement and joy is felt the whole day of December 24. In the evening, at 7:45, our Crib procession began in the Founders’ room, where we all gathered together. Three SVD priests came: Fr. Herman Puhl, the main celebrant, Fr. Tony Pates and Fr. Renato Gnata, both members of the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center. After some prayer and singing, Sister Superior took the Child Jesus and gave him to Fr. Puhl, who carried him with devotion and solemnity. Then we all went in procession to the chapel amid loud singing of “Angels we have heard on high” (in German, of course).
After he put the Infant Jesus on the crib, the Holy Mass began with the song: “Hodie Christus Natus est” ( Today Christ is born). “Today a Savior is born in the City of David; He is the Messiah, the Lord,” (Lk.2,11) so began Father’s homily, and he continued, “It is the main point of the message of Christmas Eve.” Further he went on: “Christmas is the Feast of Surprises. It cannot be otherwise, because God himself is the “Surprise!” Today we will wonder how God manifests himself, how he makes himself noticeable, namely, so secretly, softly and quietly; and because we think that he must make himself noticeable – typically divine with trumpets blast, power and glory – we miss the most important and most decisive events in human and world histories. God does not satisfy our human curiosity. Therefore, his coming is rather embarrassing, simple and hidden: no television, no press conference, no military parade, not even a priest was present at his birth. He is the hidden God and he remained so after his Word became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. For 30 years we have heard nothing from and about him….Did God really became man? We would have never imagined it!”
Or have we? Have you?
May we let ourselves be surprised by our God of Surprises! May we celebrate this Christmas open to the wonder of his love, and may we let ourselves be wonderfully surprised at what he has in store for us this Christmas season and the coming New Year 2016!
A Blessed Christmas and a ” Grace- and Surprise-filled” New Year to all of you!