Christmas Arrives to a Weary World

“Weary world” may aptly describe how our country and world feel at this moment. This is a season of hope, but it is a hope for something which will deliver us from the weight and sorrow which at times can seem to overwhelm.

The words (John Sullivan Dwight’s) and melody of “O Holy Night” resonate…

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices…

Christmas arrives to each of us in a different manner. It speaks a unique message to where we are.

Katherine Trunk is a regular contributor to The Brenner Brief.

Katherine Trunk is a regular contributor to The Brenner Brief.

During the last few years, our neighboring Parish continues to offer a “Gentle Christmas.”  St. Bernard’s offers a Christmas Vigil Mass for those who have suffered a loss or who are grieving — a respite for those who want to meditate. Gentle Christmas music is played, and the tone is low-key and peaceful. It is much-needed, substantive Christmas downtime.

The original Holy Night was a wearied one. Consider Mary and Joseph being turned away just before the delivery of a Baby, and not just any Baby!

Maybe on Christmas this year, a rebirth of new life can take place again in our country and in our community, in the mansions of our hearts where goodness can find a home.

Christmas in our country comes at a time when grief veils a nation.

Christmas still arrives in our country in spite of fiscal uncertainty and fragile health.

Despite shrinking families, Christmas still arrives as aunts and uncles are passing on.

It is much like the image of the Holy Child in the Manger.

So often our country’s heroes exemplify the Holy embrace, this Holy outreach, when almost crushed to stubble they rise to remind that there is one to save them from certain death.

It is outreach, to offer our better selves for the betterment of the world.

Christmas memories…many.  Many years past, Saint Nicholas Feast Day a little faded, but still sweet, as my Grandfather was literally Nicholas.

Every Feast of St. Nicholas , around the first week in December, Nick would quietly come and go from Queens to our home to drop off a sack of candy, anonymously.  My brother, sister and I would be left to wonder, who did this?  When holidays would roll around, my Grandfather and my Grandmother baked scrumptious apple pies, pumpkin pies, poppy-seed loaves, and nut loaves. Ingredients were diligently sought at shops around East 82 Street in Manhattan, where Slavic spices and foods could be purchased at such stores as Paprika Weiss.

Indeed, the mouth-watering aromas linger, reminding me forever of the enduring love and sacrifice which my Grandparents had made in such a tangible way as if to say, “ Now go and do the same.”

Christmas arrives and brings a message each time.

God has shed His Grace on our land and on our world.  I thank God for all He has given, am grateful that we live in a country where we can still thank and worship Him in so many ways.

I will cherish also our right to worship in freedom and will defend it.


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