The twenty-fifth day of December.
In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world
from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,
in the sixth age of the world,
Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.
(Traditional Proclamation of the Birth of Christ, sung before Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve)
After thousands of years of waiting, hoping, praying, living; on a night silent and holy, in a manger humble and bare; in the Fullness of Time, He who is Light, Life and Love came into our world, into our lives, into our hearts. After an Advent of waiting in joyful yet penitent anticipation, the arrival of Christmas reminds us of a host of things: of God’s perfect timing, the value of waiting, the fulfillment of God’s promises, His faithfulness, His Love, His Mercy.
As the Christmas Proclamation was sung solemnly on Christmas Eve, tears were shed as I marveled at God’s wisdom in orchestrating the Incarnation at a time when Israel was ready. Like waiting for fruit to ripen in its own time, at its own pace, the time for our Salvation came when Time, when the world, was ripe and ready.
We all have things we are waiting for–that career milestone, a more comfortable living, reconciliation between friends, the right life partner, the long-awaited child. We have dreams that we have offered up to God’s Providence–dreams for our family, for our children, for ourselves. And while Christmas does teach us to believe in a God that fulfills His promises, in Him who blesses us and loves us and forgives us, I pray we not get lost in the fulfillment of these promises, that our satisfaction may not end there.
That, while trusting in God’s timing, and living the life of surrender that goes with it, we are not found constantly waiting with bated breath, but rather, resting contently in the arms of the Son. That after all the blessings, all the answered prayers, His Presence remains, and is more than enough.
O God, who gladden us year by year as we wait in hope for our redemption, grant that, just as we joyfully welcome Your Only Begotten Son as our Redeemer, we may also merit to face Him confidently when He comes again as our Judge. (Collect from Christmas Vigil Mass)
That when the Fullness of Time comes, our hearts may be found ripe and ready for His coming, desiring nothing and no one but Him.