“The Child Jesus does not disappoint. Let us follow him on our daily journey: he brings time to its fullness; he gives meaning to what we do and to the days we live. Let us trust in joyful times and in sorrowful times: the hope he gives us is a hope that never disappoints.”

Pope Francis

My best friend from college is one of those people who I can go months without speaking to and pick up with as if we chatted daily. We are both type-A personalities. We see the world the same way. We banter the same way. It’s like we were separated at birth.

Kate and her husband got married right after college like me, and they had their first child six months before we did. I will never forget as our daughter’s due date drew closer, I called Kate, purportedly to see how she was making out with her newborn son, but really wanting some intel on what life would be like with a baby.

In typical Kate fashion, she laid it out in blunt, yet helpful, terms. “You will stink at everything, and anything you used to be good at, you will be worse at.” I began to sweat. “But don’t worry,” she continued, “because it won’t matter. Once the kid comes, your priorities change instantly, and you can’t love anything more.” She was right as usual. While I still feel slightly less competent in all areas of my life, I also continue to be changed by my children daily. Even on their worst days, I love them more than anything.

As I was reflecting on the readings from the Solemnity we celebrated yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder, has the coming of the child we celebrate this season changed me? Does the Lord’s incarnation continue to shape who I am? Have I grown in healthy humility? Are my priorities different? Where does He fall among all the people and things I love? As a father, the times I get into the most trouble are when I want to believe that my life shouldn’t be different because of my kids. How changed should my life look then, if I profess to believe in the incarnation of God’s only Son? Most likely, the changes I need to make are a little deeper than what’s on my list of New Year’s resolutions.

As we begin 2023, let’s help each other to be people whose lives are different because of this child, whose priorities are different than the world’s; people for whom it is clear to everyone that we can’t love anything or anyone more. Happy New Year!

by Daniel Cellucci

January 02, 2023

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