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Seán Sammon, FMS

25/12/2004: General House

What a surprise that first Christmas must have been! Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah, Savior, and source of deliverance for the Jewish people, slipped into our world almost unnoticed. It never dawned on Mary and Joseph to call the press of their day; no committee of VIPs gather to greet him; there were no bands, nor fanfare such as a special commemorative stamp printed in his honor. His parents simply did what anyone on a journey does when faced with an event as momentous as the birth of a child: they made due with what was at hand. And so, some local shepherds, a few farm animals, and the darkness that is so much a part of night in any stable welcomed the Son of God into a troubled world.

And thus the story began to unfold. We know its details well. Jesus was reared in an occupied country; his parents were refugees for a time. As a boy he must have lived much the same life as other young people of his day. But there were moments in his journey that would have made anyone wonder. For example, all this strange talk of being about his Father’s business? Wasn’t his father Joseph, the carpenter? Stop for a moment, too, and recall his reaction to his mother’s request that he help their hosts during the wedding at Cana. His words were a bit sharp to say the least: “Woman, what is that to you or to me?”

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