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Deborah Xavier-Mis found a new perspective on Christmas by focusing on the gift of Mary's fiat.

Alleluia! Jesus is born! The Emmanuel is here!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas has always been an important date on my calendar. Growing up, I used to celebrate it surrounded by family and friends, prayers, and good food. Christmas novenas were a tradition in my family as well. We used to gather with our neighbors for novenas in preparation for Christmas. At church, I loved all the happy songs of praise and the bright decorations. The lights at night made me think of how Jesus brought light to the world when He was born. Ultimately it has always been a magical season for me.

This year I thought Christmas celebrations would be different for me, as I will not be surrounded by many of my loved ones. One thing, though, will not change: the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ! And I feel so loved to know that besides all that is going on in the world, there will be Christmas.

In a year marked by challenges and adjustments, the pandemic has allowed me to really live Advent day by day, at a slower pace. At every candle lit during Advent, I strongly reflected on the feeling represented by each one of them. And week by week I felt my heart filling up with hope, faith, joy, and peace. And now it is Christmas, and I am in awe of God’s immense love for me and for each one of us -- a love that renews my hope and recharges my faith for the year ahead.

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As I look at Jesus in the manger today, with Mary and Joseph by His side, I am reminded of the essential things to cherish: life, love, health, and family. And in all these things, I can clearly see God caring for me.

While contemplating Jesus today, on His birthday, I recalled a conversation that my husband had with a colleague last month. One of my husband’s co-workers told him about his family tradition on birthdays. Every birthday was considered as a day to honor his mother for giving birth to them, a day to thank her for caring for them (in the womb and after) and for going through labor. I just thought, “How beautiful this is!” I am a mother of two, and I have never thought about this aspect of a birthday before.

Now it is Christmas, and I am in awe of God’s immense love for me and for each one of us - a love that renews my hope and recharges my faith for the year ahead. #catholicmom

So today I am celebrating Christmas with a wider view. I am rejoicing with the news of the birth of Jesus, and I am also thanking Mary for her fiat, a fiat that allowed God’s grace to flow into the world. The peace of Mother Mary holding her newborn baby Jesus overwhelms me: peace that can only come from God! And after all these months of unsettledness, I felt that I could finally breathe freely.

The birth of Jesus gives me an opportunity to reconnect with God and to be open to His grace, this time around with a new perception of Mary. I am taking the time to pause and pray for her intercession and reflecting on ways to become a channel of God’s love to the people around me so that everyone can experience this peace that only God can give.

Copyright 2020 Deborah Xavier-Mis
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