Welcome to the season of miracles


Hanukkah, which began last night, marks a battle victory. The miracle of Hanukkah occurred when the Maccabees were re-consecrating the temple they’d reclaimed by lighting the menorah – except there was only enough holy oil to burn for one day. Instead, the lamps remained lit for eight days. A miracle.


The four weeks before Christmas Day known as the season of Advent started yesterday, beginning of the Christmas season in Christianity. The miracle in the Catholic Church (the one I was raised in) is that Mary’s son, Jesus, was not born of man. She, still a virgin, had been visited by God and her son was not only her earthly progeny, but He was the Son of God, Redeemer of All. Another miracle.


Those two miracles are commemorated at the end of the year, just as we are turning to winter in the Northern Hemisphere. And, although our modern life has turned all of this into a commercial enterprise, let me remind you that miracles are not confined to November and December. Nor are they necessarily as dramatic as the two I’ve just mentioned.


But we do think of this as a season of miracles. And there are plenty of them.


Maybe you got a parking space right in front of your apartment. A miracle! The baby finally stopped crying and slept for six hours straight. Truly miraculous! That job you applied for two months ago called you back today. The chemo worked. The knocking sound stopped. Your taste for potato chips has mysteriously evaporated. You get a bonus this year. Your test comes back negative. You found a decent hairdresser. All miracles. And miracles like these come in all forms, and they come regularly.


Miracles abound. Miracles are the blessings you count. Miracles are the gratitude you feel. May you be gifted with the sight to see them this month ahead, this season ahead, and may you share them generously.


Peace and love to you in the week ahead.