Wonder and Awe

Thursday, December 29, 2022
Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Readings for Today

Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr—Optional Memorial


The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:33–35

When something truly supernatural takes place, the human mind that grasps that supernatural event is filled with wonder and awe. For Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, their minds were continually filled with a holy amazement at what they were witnessing.

First there was the Annunciation to our Blessed Mother. Then the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. Then the miraculous birth took place. Shepherds came to adore their child and revealed that a multitude of angels had appeared to them. Shortly after this, the Magi from the East showed up to do homage to their child. And today we are given the story of Simeon in the Temple. He spoke of the supernatural revelation he had received about this Child. Time after time, the miracle of what was taking place was placed before Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, and each time they responded with wonder and awe.

Though we are not blessed to encounter this supernatural event of the Incarnation in the same way that Mary and Joseph did, we are nonetheless able to share in their “amazement” and their “wonder and awe” by prayerfully pondering this supernatural event. The mystery of Christmas, which is a manifestation of God becoming man, is an event that transcends all time and space. It’s a spiritual reality of supernatural origin and is therefore an event that our minds of faith have full access to. Just like Mother Mary and Saint Joseph, we must hear the angel at the Annunciation, the angel in Joseph’s dream, we must witness the shepherds and Magi and, today, we must rejoice with Simeon as he gazed upon the newborn Messiah, the Savior of the World.

Reflect, today, upon how fully you have allowed your mind to engage the incredible mystery that we celebrate this holy season. Have you taken time to prayerfully read the story once again? Are you able to sense the joy and fulfillment experienced by Simeon and Anna? Have you spent time considering the minds and hearts of Mother Mary and Saint Joseph as they experienced that first Christmas? Let this deep supernatural mystery of our faith touch you this Christmas season in such a way that you, too, are “amazed” at what we celebrate.

Lord, I thank you for the gift of Your Incarnation. With Simeon, I rejoice and offer You praise and thanksgiving. Please renew within me a true sense of wonder and awe as I gaze with amazement at what You have done for me and for the whole world. May I never tire of pondering this supernatural gift of Your life. Jesus, I trust in You.

Would you consider an end of the year donation?

See our Christmas resources!

Scripture Meditations

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Saint of the Day – Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr

Mass Reading Options

See also: The Sword of Sorrow

Christ, Candle of Hope

Christmas Prayer

Featured image above: Simeon and Anna Recognize the Lord in Jesus By Rembrandt, via  Wikimedia Commons