Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
“A kid in a candy store.” That’s how people of all ages are sometimes described when they are fortunate enough to have a panoply of good options before them. When I was a boy, living in the city, a real candy store was just down the block and around the corner, quite walkable for young legs. No need to be driven to one from a suburban cul de sac. I can still picture all the goodies on display behind the beveled glass doors of the counter, where I could use my residual allowance, a net sum post filling a percentage in my the little Church envelope. (Remember those?)
At the risk of being disrespectful, that is analogous to the situation of a writer faced with reflecting on the Mass Readings for Christmas. Which ones? There are four settings for Masses, each with their own Readings, beginning with the Vigil, followed by the Mass at Midnight, then the Mass at Dawn, and finally the Mass during the Day.
For my Reflections, I chose the Readings for the Mass at Midnight. Luke’s beautiful gospel, coupled with Isaiah’s prophecy, which centuries later gave Handel some of the lyrics for his “Messiah” oratorio. To those, St. Paul’s excerpt offers guidelines for living a post-Christmas lifestyle. But it is the Lucan gospel that most appeals to me.