This time of year, It's a Wonderful Life often is on television. It is the quintessential Christmas story with a hero and a villain and we all know that the good guy wins in the end. That Christmas Eve in Bedford Falls reminds us all of Christmases past as we look to the coming of the baby Jesus this year, and Christ who is to come in the future.
Like George Bailey, we sometimes focus on the negative. Our world today can present us with many reasons to lose hope with opportunities, attractions, and distractions that make it easy to miss the true meaning of the Christmas season. But in fact, this is the season of light, whether from the lights of the Christmas tree, the glow of the Advent wreath candles, the flame of the Menorah, or perhaps simply the sky on a rare day of sunshine in a Milwaukee December. All of these can remind us of the presence of God and the promise of hope that is fulfilled in this holy season.
Remember that behind the packages and the lights is the radiance that is our God. See the hope in the faces of the people around you. See it in the faces of your family and friends and coworkers. See it in your own face when you look in the mirror. Doing this will allow each of us to welcome that little baby on Christmas, the way that Mary and Joseph so willingly welcomed him into their lives. And know that God so lovingly welcomes us into His.
May the peace of God rule in your dreams. May your joys be fulfilled and your prayers answered. May you have healing, health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year. Have a graced Advent and a Merry Christmas from all of us at Marquette University. Amen.
Rev. Frederick Zagone, S.J.
Chaplain, Marquette University Alumni Association