I am here to write just some thoughts to you this Holy season. I began this reflection having just finished watching “Backstage Memories of White Christmas” produced by Paramount and narrated in part by a friend of mine, Professor Emeritus Drew Casper of USC. This is one of my favorite movies, and in his commentary, Professor Casper says that the song “White Christmas” brings us back to the first Christmas times we remember, and that there is “no substitute for that!” True enough, because that song brought me back to my grandparents who every Christmas, in the midst of the snow and challenges with driving, would embrace us when my father would drive us across the snow in Springfield to be with my grandparents, who would usually give all of the Vann kids’ pajamas! But, in a funny secular way, certainly that song bridges eternity and brings my grandparents and I back together again.
How much more does our Faith give us this season and in the Christmas season beyond? Whether it is a carol like “O Little Town of Bethlehem” whose lyrics “The hopes and fears of all of the years are met in thee tonight” remind us that the hopes and fears of this present chaotic age, indeed meet in the birth of Christ who once again reminds us, with the Angels in St. Luke, that His birth comes to bring us life and to never forget that. The same can be said as I look at the Christmas ornament Mom and Dad bought for their first Christmas, or the red cellophane wreaths like my grandparents had, or even the wax figurines that had once belonged to them, and which I rescued one year from my parent’s attic after they had passed away.
The Incarnation, the Birth of Christ is about eternal life and hope, and that God is not far from us; He is “Emmanuel” – God with us. I will be thinking about all of you and praying for you, your loved ones and families in these 4days. Thank you for your witness, generosity and kindness in so many ways!
I pray that these last days of Advent, the Twelve Days of Christmas and the entire season with the celebration of Mass, once more teach of the “Love that came down at Christmas,” as this wonderful hymn by Pietro A. Yon, transcends the boundaries of time and eternity for us all. “O COME LET US ADORE HIM, CHRIST THE LORD.”