Transformation is the key word for us in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium these days. Just as the seasons in the natural world are changing, so are the seasons in the church. The green on our prayer tables and in the chasubles worn by the priests at Eucharist change to a beautiful blue as we turn our attention in Advent to pondering the birth of a very special baby boy, born in Bethlehem so long ago and yet ever present in our lives today.
Who is this child that will grow up to become the Good Shepherd, who calls us by name and gives all of himself to us, even his own life to save ours? In Isaiah 9:1, the children will hear God telling his people, through the words of his prophet, that He is sending a gift of a bright light for people who walk in darkness, brighter than the sun or the moon; a light that will never go out. We wonder together if this light could be a thing or could it even be a person? And if it is a person, what will he be like? Isaiah tells us in 9:6 that He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
This is wonderful news and should be celebrated more than one day and with more depth than presents under the tree. We can look at our liturgical calendar that is a puzzle with 52 wooden pieces that are painted in the liturgical colors. Christmas has more than 1 piece for it is a celebration of Love coming down from heaven and embracing each one of us.
We know that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was at first perplexed by the angel’s message that she had been chosen to give birth to God’s son, but she responded with “Yes!” Our older children will be thinking about their response to God when He calls them by name to find their place on his plan of salvation.
May your Advent be blessed with time to ponder who the Christ Child is in your life and who he is calling you to become, each new day of your life.