'Twas a month before Christmas and all through the town,
People wore masks that covered their frown.
The frown had begun way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic changed everything.
They called it corona but unlike the beer,
It didn't bring good times; it didn't bring cheer.
Airplanes were grounded, travel was banned.
Borders were closed, across air, sea and land.
As the world entered lockdown to flatten the curve,
The economy halted and folks lost their nerve.
From March to July, we rode the first wave,
People stayed home, they tried to behave.
When summer emerged, the lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution many folks drifted.
Now it's November and cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived much to our disliking.
It's true that this year has had sadness a plenty,
We'll never forget the year 2020.
And just 'round the corner - the holiday season,
But why be merry? Is there even one reason?
To decorate the house and put up a tree,
Who will see it? No one but me.
But outside my window the snow gently falls,
And I think to myself, let's deck the halls!
So, I gather the ribbon, the garland and bows,
As I play those old carols, my happiness grows.
Christmas is not canceled, and neither is hope.
If we lean on each other I know we can cope.
So let me just add to this clever tale,
Christmas is certain, it will come without fail.
For the reasons we celebrate and remember this day,
Is because of our Savior born in a manger of hay.
He came to save us from evil and sin,
Let's join the celebration and thank Him again.
For this is the season of Love, Joy and Peace,
What more do we need to get through this disease.
So pray for your family, your friends and all others,
Merry Christmas to all my sisters and brothers!
Pope Francis explains the symbolism of each figure in the Nativity scene.
Starry Night: "We can think of all those times in our lives when we have experienced the darkness of night. Yet even then, God does not abandon us ... His closeness brings light where there is darkness and shows the way to those dwelling in the shadow of suffering."
Ancient Ruins: "The ruins are the visible sign of fallen humanity, of everything that inevitably falls into ruin, decays and disappoints. This scenic setting tells us that Jesus is newness in the midst of an aging world, that he has come to heal and rebuild."
Animals: "With what emotion should we arrange the mountains, streams, sheep and shepherds in the Nativity scene! As we do so, we are reminded that, as the prophets had foretold, all creation rejoices in the coming of the Messiah."
Angels and Guiding Star: "The angels and the guiding star are a sign that we too are called to set out for the cave and to worship the Lord."
Shepherds: "Unlike so many other people, busy about many things, the shepherds become the first to see the most essential thing of all: the gift of salvation. It is the humble and the poor who greet the event of the Incarnation."
Beggars and Poor People: "There are the beggars and the others who know only the wealth of the heart. They too have every right to draw near to the Infant Jesus; no one can evict them or send them away from a crib so makeshift that the poor seem entirely at home."
Ordinary People: "From the shepherd to the blacksmith, from the baker to the musicians, from the women carrying jugs of water to the children at play: all this speaks of the everyday holiness, the joy of doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way."
Mary: "In her, we see the Mother of God who does not keep her Son only to herself, but invites everyone to obey his word and to put it into practice."
Joseph: "Joseph treasured in his heart the great mystery surrounding Jesus and Mary his spouse; as a just man, he entrusted himself always to God’s will, and put it into practice."
Baby Jesus: "When, at Christmas, we place the statue of the Infant Jesus in the manger, the Nativity scene suddenly comes alive. God appears as a child, for us to take into our arms. Beneath weakness and frailty, he conceals his power that creates and transforms all things."
The Magi: "The Magi teach us that people can come to Christ by a very long route. Men of wealth, sages from afar, athirst for the infinite, they set out on the long and perilous journey that would lead them to Bethlehem ... They are not scandalized by the poor surroundings, but immediately fall to their knees to worship him."
The following meditation, in the form of a poem, was written by Fr. Javier Leoz, a priest in the Spanish town of Pamplona. Pope Francis personally phoned the priest to convey his appreciation of the message.
Will there be Christmas?
More silent and with more depth.
More like unto the first one, when Jesus was born in solitude.
Without many lights on earth
but with the star of Bethlehem
shining on paths of life in its immensity.
Without colossal royal processions
but with the humility of feeling as if we are
shepherds, young and old, seeking the Truth.
Without big tables and with bitter absences
but with the presence of a God who will fill everything.
Will there be Christmas?
Without streets overflowing with people
with our hearts burning
for the One who is about to arrive.
Without noise or festivals,
complaints or stampedes …
but living the Mystery without fear
of the “COVID-Herod” that tries to
rob us even of the dream of waiting.
There will be Christmas because GOD is on our side
and He shares, as Christ did in a manger,
our poverty, trials, tears, anguish and orphanhood.
There will be Christmas because we need
a divine light in the midst of such darkness.
COVID-19 will never be able to reach the heart or soul
of those who put their hope and their high ideal in heaven.
THERE WILL BE CHRISTMAS!
WE WILL SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS!
GOD WILL BE BORN AND WILL BRING US FREEDOM!
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."