“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.”
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!
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