To Have and to Hold


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hold baby Jesus in your arms? Imagine the joy Simeon felt at the Presentation in the Temple when he held the holy infant and said, “For my eyes have seen your salvation,/which you prepared in sight of all the peoples” [Luke 2:30-31].

Born as we all are—innocent and helpless—tells us that Jesus did not come to frighten us into submission. He came to share the merciful love of God for our salvation. Like Simeon, we are welcome to have and to hold Him—to embrace Him in our hearts, minds, and souls.

With this embrace, we also are entrusted with sharing our Lord through our faith, hope, and charity. Consider Mary and Joseph. God entrusted Mary and Joseph to have and to hold baby Jesus, and as loving parents, raise Jesus according to His will. That included welcoming all those in search of salvation to come close and behold the Son of God.

Love and Responsibility

Mary and Joseph did not hold back their faith, their hope, or their charity, nor did they hold back Jesus from the early disciples. In essence, we can do the same in our daily living. When we embrace Jesus and unite with Him, we are given the grace to share His goodness and to help one another with the loving generosity of our Lord.

At the same time, let us follow the example of Mary and Joseph. With all humility, Mary and Joseph knew they could do nothing without the Almighty Father. Mary and Joseph trusted God’s promise of salvation and God trusted them to follow His will. In having and holding this great love and responsibility, they put themselves and baby Jesus in God’s hands.

In our loving embrace of Jesus, we too are entrusted with the responsibility of following God’s will in all that we say and do in our daily living, which is to go in peace to love and serve the Lord. And to follow God’s will without doubt or hesitation, like Mary and Joseph, we need to put ourselves in His hands and trust Him with all our heart, mind, and soul.

New Life, New Hope

For our salvation, let us imagine baby Jesus extending his arms, freely and humbly offering Himself to each of us. Are we going to reject our Lord? Or are we going to love and embrace Him, no matter the circumstance in our life?

With the birth of Christ, God gives us the opportunity to be reborn—to have and to hold a new life with a renewed hope for a better future. Truly, we should be reminded of that with the birth of every new infant.

May we see Christ in every new born. Then let us rejoice as Simeon did. With every new life and renewed life, there is a new dwelling place for our Lord and a sense of purpose to live for God’s sake and for the sake of our salvation.

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