Whether it’s the Christmas story in church, the family stories we tell around holiday tables and in gatherings with old friends, or the Christmas movies we watch each year, there’s something about the telling of familiar stories that holds a special magic. The young sometimes roll their eyes when Grandma tells the same story every year, and not everyone appreciates the rhythm of the lectionary selections. But this is part of who we are as a family and as a people of God. Life finds its meaning in the stories we tell. We’re approaching the end of the Christmas season. Soon we will back to the ordinary routines of our life. But if we have celebrated the feast of the incarnation well, our lives will be changed. We don’t know what the new year will hold for us, for our families, for the world. But we know that God will continue to be with us. As we look back at the significant events of the past year, both the joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows, we can see how God has shaped us and strengthened us for what lies ahead.
—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek