The days after Christmas and New Years have brought changes to downtown Boston. The large Christmas tree in front of the Macy's store is gone. The windows used for Christmas theme displays have been replaced with curtains and signs stating that new displays were in process. Christmas decorations have disappeared from the city streets and from the offices (my own included!). However, in the downtown chapel manned by the Franciscan Friars, St. Anthony Shrine, as in many Catholic churches, the creche is still up. It will remain up until this Sunday, which commemorates the Baptism of the Lord, the beginning of his adult life.
It brought to my mind how out of sync the secular world can be with the religious world when it comes to the Christmas season. While we were just beginning the Advent season of preparation for Christmas, the stores already had their Christmas merchandise and decorations out. And now that Christmas day is past, all the decorations are tossed into the trash and the St. Valentine's Day merchandise and decorations are being put up.
I think the Church's liturgical calendar is telling us to slow down, reflect on what we had just celebrated. The Son of God, loved us so much, that He became human like us; to reveal the Father's love for us; to save us from the power of sin. And in reflecting on this wondrous fact, we may be filled with awe, and with the angels continue the song: "Glory to God in the Highest!"