I always think that the challenge of Christmas is not unlike carrying the Olympic flame throughout the next 12 months! On Christmas night we are given the light of Christ that came into the world when God became human so that we might be able to share in the divine life. Jesus has a human heart and he desires us to allow the love of God to flame in our hearts. Christmas is not just for Christmas, of course, it is for life. The Christ-child has to be re-born anew in our hearts every day. We have to run the race of the new year with that light shining in our hearts and we must endeavour to make sure that it does not go out. The Pope reminded us on the feast of the mother of God the other day how we can do this. As always we must look to the Holy Mother, our Blessed Lady. As Francis observed:
Mary is so closely united to Jesus because she received from him the knowledge of the heart, the knowledge of faith, nourished by her experience as a mother and by her close relationship with her Son. The Blessed Virgin is the woman of faith who made room for God in her heart and in her plans; she is the believer capable of perceiving in the gift of her Son the coming of that “fullness of time”(Gal 4:4) in which God, by choosing the humble path of human existence, entered personally into the history of salvation. That is why Jesus cannot be understood without his Mother.
Keeping the flame of Christmas alive is all about learning from Mary, who 'made room for God in her heart and in her plans'. This is our challenge in 2015: make room for God in our hearts, and place God in the very centre of all our plans.
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