Have you ever wondered about the incredible role of the shepherds in the Christmas drama? Of all people, they are chosen to hear the words of the angels and run to meet baby Jesus lying in the arms of His Blessed Mother. Why them? I mean, do you know any shepherds personally? Their job doesn’t seem so significant or glamorous. Rather, it involves long hours of watching and the occasional need to risk one’s self to protect the flock. I particularly note that the shepherds were called by the angels to see that Christ child while they were working. Life is busy, but God cannot be stopped when it comes to delivering His message of good news. The shepherds approach Christ, full of faith and humility as they worship a babe only hours old.

Jesus calls us to our vocation in the midst of wherever we are in life. Whether we are students, working, at home, or abroad, God is calling and it our role is to listen and watch. Shepherds must have been and continue to be so very patient. I can’t go very long without getting distracted and thinking about checking my phone — I don’t think I’m alone! It can be easy to be swept up in doing whatever we’re doing or simply distracted and not instead being aware of God’s role in our daily lives. Our parish churches are not the only place where God speaks, but He can and will speak in His Word, in silence, and through other people.

This Christmastime is so joyful. We share times with family, friends, and attend Church a couple extra times for Holy Mass together worshipping a God who took on flesh to save us from our sin. Christ came into the midst of our daily lives and daily activities, to convince us of the depths of His love for you and I. Because He is God, He is able to be near to our every word, every activity and deepen our ability to love others in the midst of our own daily circumstances. One concrete way to love God and others is to commit to discerning the vocation God has planned for your life. God will call us aware of where we’re at. He reaches down to our level and invites us to say yes to something that will ultimately fulfill our deepest needs and desires. A life given to others is a life well-spent. Today, pray to be like one of the shepherds who, while in the midst of daily work, was open and accepted the beautiful invitation from the Lord on high.

Merry Christmas! May the Lord fill you with His peace.

Deacon Peter Gallagher
Peter Gallagher attends The Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy.
Deacon Peter Gallagher

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