Saturday, December 17, 2005

I was just at my brother's last night and I was able to spend time with my family, especially my little nephews. It is cold up here in Cleveland (although I'm thankful for not living more up north during this time of the year), and there is much snow. My nephew Joey was begging me to come outside to play with him and his friends. We eventually ended up playing 'freeze tag'-you know, if you get tagged, you can't move until someone untags you. We played for a long while outside, and I came to realize that the kids we're playing to win anything, they were just playing to play.

Christ teaches that 'unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven' (Lk 18:15-17). Little children are the ones who abandon themselves to the joy of life, and give their all to their play. They are completely open to love and life and are able to laugh so easily.

As I was playing with these kids, I thought of our world in how hard it is for others to simply play without thinking about how someone is going to think of them. We are always concerned about making money or advancing our careers instead of taking time to remember the most important things in life: God, family, and living our lives as a gift to others.

Perhaps that is the most important message of the Christmas season: A Child was born to us to reveal that even in the most darkest of nights, when the world is cold and there is no room at the inn, that God is with us even when we abandon Him. My prayer for the world is that we may recognize this child in every person, and to rejoice simply at being in their presence.