Reflection for Christmas Day 2016

At 2.30 today, on the afternoon of 1959, I was born! Crying, bloody and wet, and then it got worse!  Ten days later I was baptized Noel Michael Mary;  as was custom of my parents generation to give the 3rd name Mary to all the boys, as a devotion and a prayer for protection from our Lady.

I know for a fact I was born on this day 1959.  We don’t know when Yeshua bin Joseph; commonly known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ – using the title of ‘the Anointed One’, was actually born.  A quote I like says ‘the two most important days of your life is when you are born and the day you discover why.’

Jesus’ appointment with destiny occurred on the day he was baptized by John in the River Jordan, to the voice ‘you are my Son the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.’  And on the mountainside – this was the moment of his awakening to the knowledge of being The Son of God.  What other religions would call his enlightenment? He chose this destiny, like Mary and Joseph, and lived it to the moment of his death.  Did he choose this destiny or did destiny choose him?

Charles Dickens is quoted to having said, ‘I will honour Christmas with all my heart and try to live like it all the year.’  This is the best we can do, to live everyday as Christ-mas day, putting Christ as the centre of our life, having a prayer life as the purpose of our life;  every time a child is born, there is the potential andpossibility of an age of innocence.  With the birth of Yeshua bin Joseph and the day of his anointing in the river Jordan, the age of innocence came into being.  Hope was born into the psyche of human kind.  That is why despair is the greatest betrayal of all.  Life situations, usually forged in conflict, leave no way out.  A sad statistic this week was the biggest killer of men under 50 is suicide.  This highlights the failures of all our institutions.

I don’t believe God intends anyone’s destiny to be the day they take their own life.  Yeshua bin Joseph heard in the depths of his being, the words, ‘you are my child, my beloved in whom I am well pleased.’  This gave him the confidence to take up his destiny and gave him the strength to trust it to the end. I am sure Joseph and Mary told Jesus the stories of his birth, the census, the stable, the angels, the escape into Egypt and when it was safe to return.  I am sure each one of you has a story that is miraculous in its own right that gave purpose to your life.  I have a story that I call a motivating memory that sustains my life.   Every time I came back home to Ireland and stayed with my parents, I would find a time to be alone with my mother and say, ‘Mammy, tell me the story’ and as she began I would watch her relive the story that cause her nightmares for two years afterwards….

You needed to be there to hear the rest of the story!

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