The WORD in Other Words by Fr Dante Barril SVD (Rome) for Monday in Octave of Christmas
Eighty-four is old, even in our present-day standard with all its sophistications and “magic potions!” And Christmas with all the lights and noise and the frenzied atmosphere we associate with it does not seem to be for those who get dizzy with glitzy lights, deafened by noise and sick with activities.
We’ve heard it said: Christmas is for kids. But the first Christmas was littered with senior citizens. We see the eighty-four-year-old Anna in today‘s Gospel, the old couple Zechariah and Elizabeth in John the Baptist‘s story; we witness how old Simeon met another old man in Joseph the husband of Mary during the presentation at the temple. Common sense tells us that one or two or maybe even more of the shepherds were old… there definitely was a sputtering of gray hair, balding heads and bent backs in the first Christmas.
My grandma did not dance or sing or light firecrackers during Christmas. But she was a warm presence like those bonfires we see on TV. When God chose to become man, old people were very much present.
May our Christmas celebration be filled with warmth and love not just for kids but also for our “oldies.” Let us make sure that they are not hidden away in some dark corner like those Christmas decors when the holidays are over.