by Emily Lopez
This time of year offers an abundance of festive family activities — Christmas light displays to see, parish Advent celebrations to attend and the latest action-adventure movie to watch in the theater.
Although an interesting menu of movie choices is often available, the Hollywood production companies seem to save their very best for the holiday season. These companies recognize that there is something powerful about the holidays, even if they may be motivated toward capitalizing on it financially.
In recent years, this season has found the lights dimming on the latest and greatest superhero film. The spotlight seems to pivot between Marvel and DC Comics in an ongoing effort to garner the top box office position.
However, this year, there was a new hero in town . . . quite literally. “The Chosen” season three was released to box offices on Nov. 18, opening in the No. 3 position.
The interest in a seemingly mundane story with no major celebrity actors has raised curiosity among many. Stories covering the release describe it as an “unexpected success” with an “overwhelming response” that is being embraced by even the “most secular critics.”
And that is the power of Jesus.
To know the story of salvation is to recognize the power of God to overwhelm even the most jaded heart.
When we share our personal witness with others we are often met with an unexpected response. Allowing the Holy Spirit to move through us as a conduit of Christ’s love and mercy will always result in “surprise success.”
The preparation for Christmas looks different in our lives because we are a Christian people. We know that we were created for a personal relationship with God and others.
We recognize the value in creating moments of anticipation and thanksgiving through the season of Advent because we know the true gift.
There is nothing we have done nor can do to deserve the gift of Christ. He has come to save us from sin that we cannot overcome. An undeserved gift to redeem us from ourselves — from our prideful ambition to believe we could be more if we separated ourselves from God.
Christ came into the world as a vulnerable human being to be tortured and killed as an innocent victim; and he continues to offer himself every time we celebrate Mass in the Eucharist.
Just as we continue to pridefully choose distance from God, Jesus continues to offer his unconditional love and mercy. As we prepare through this holiday season, let us make time to renew our hearts in his love.
Let us reflect on the value of our story, the purpose of our hero and the response of our lives to the greatest gift ever given.