This is a day of great anticipation and joy; it is the EVE of the great feast of Christmas, the celebration of God made flesh and coming to us as a most vulnerable babe, to dwell among us.
Sadly, Christmas Eve has become all sorts of things that take us away from the focus of sacred preparation, joyful anticipation. We run from store to store in a panic, the day becomes filled with event, after event, party after party. Now these things, in and of themselves, are not bad. ... In fact, they can, if properly celebrated, enhance the true spirit of Christmas Eve.
Many if us will pack our churches this afternoon and evening as the new phenomena of everyone going to Christmas vigil continues. And we are full of joy that our churches will be packed and yes, welcome those who you do not know!
Try a few things today, no matter what your schedule looks like: take a few minutes to read and reflect on one of the readings for Christmas. In prayer, ask God to give you a full spirit of joyful anticipation, play a Christmas Carol or two while cooking, cleaning or baking. If you are working today, greet all today the way Christ would greet the stranger and say Merry Christmas! And then if you can, take 30 minutes today to reflect on all the many blessings in your life and pray for God's will in the challenges we face.
May the joyful anticipation of the Christ child, the Son of God, the Word made Flesh, bless us abundantly this day, Christmas Eve, and all the days of our lives.