Remind me, remind them, remind the universe

This article appears in the Notes from the Field feature series. View the full series.

Editor's note: Notes from the Field includes reports from young people volunteering in ministries of Catholic sisters. A partnership with Catholic Volunteer Network, the project began in the summer of 2015. This is our 10th round of bloggers: Honorine Uwimana is a St. Joseph Worker in Orange, California, and Samantha Kominiarek is an Assumption Mission Associate in Chaparral, New Mexico.

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since his conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
and was made man.

Announcement of the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord from the Roman Martyrology

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(Honorine Uwimana)
(Honorine Uwimana)

Remind me, divine lights

Glittering from every corner
Confirming Judea's rumor
Sparkling to honor the nativity
Announcing the solemnity
O remind me
Remind me that the new baby born
Is the light and salt of the world
So shall I be
Remind me
Remind them
Remind the universe

Joyful faces
Remind me,
Remind me when I see children smiling and playing
That the divine child did not receive that much welcome
When he knocked on our doors
So that Today when he knocks again
I harden not my heart but offer him room

O Christmas tree
Beautiful tree
Remind me again
When I see you all colored
Ushering a season,
Please remind me the reason of this season: salvation.
Remind me
Remind them
Remind the universe.

Remind me that the divine baby
Came to cleanse my heart and paint it with love and humility.
Remind me also that crib or manger, my body is his greatest temple
So that I honor and keep it holy and pure.
Remind me
Remind him
Remind the universe

O holy bells ringing
Remind me when you ring and leave my ears in awe
When you ding and make me feel the magic of the day
When you dong and call the whole city to celebrate
Remind me that he will come back to judge the living and the dead
So that, that morning when you ring again shall I be ready to answer the call.
Remind me
Remind them
Remind the universe

Sweet gingerbread and pudding
O remind me
Remind me when I see you and rejoice, of the mission of the Christ we honor
Did he not multiply bread and fish to serve others? Or did he not give away his own body and blood for the world?
Remind me to share the warmth he brings with the needy
Remind me
Remind them
Remind the universe

O Christmas carols,
Remind me when they sing and I feel delighted
That unto us a child was born and since then the cross is worn
But signs or songs,
Faith is the best.
Remind me
Remind them
Remind the universe
That God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

_____

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(Honorine Uwimana)
(Honorine Uwimana)

What time is it?

I confess that in the midst of the 21st century, where watches sit on our wrists and walls, where time is displayed on our handy electronic gadgets, in our vehicles and on clock towers, this question is passé.

What time is it? Who still asks such a question after human wisdom discovered quartz crystals, the hourglass and the pendulum to solve that dispute? Who still reflects on it?

Even in the most archaic traditions and most primitive civilizations, humans have always permeated the notion of time, referring themselves to the weather pattern, seasons and harvest signs, or sociopolitical features.

Indeed, in East Africa, a large population born before the era of modern schools and before our countries embraced the digital world would determine their age in accordance with the crop that was grown at that time, the weather, and the king who was on throne.

For instance, if a person was born during a mild rainy season when his family was harvesting maize, it would mean the person was most likely born in September, and the year would be determined in line with the royal dynasty in reign.

Humankind has conquered the concept of horology and chronology not only to the point of determining time with accuracy, but also to the edge of eradicating any questions about it.

Excuse me for asking again, but: What time is it?

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(Honorine Uwimana)
(Honorine Uwimana)

Your answer may be close to: It is that time of the year when the holly is hung in the aisle, when lights shine bright, when the pine tree is clothed with colored balls and bells. It is that time of the year when carols are sung, when presents are exchanged, churches see crowds, and when mangers are hallowed.

It is Christmas time.

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(Honorine Uwimana)
(Honorine Uwimana)

The signs of the season confirm that it is Christmas, but the Scriptures overlook them to remind us of the true signs and their meaning and to answer the initial question with: It's Christ time, and the best way to live in this time is to impersonate his attributes in our lives.

Wouldn't it be that time of the year when we are reminded that God's promises are confirmed, the greatest sign of love descended on Earth, the humble magnified the Lord, those who believed were blessed, those who were silent spoke, and those who were neglected received good news?

It is Christmas time Christ time, a time to reinterpret the signs beyond malls and street-light accuracy, a time to start to act a lot like Christ rather than make shop shelves look a lot like Christmas.

[Honorine Uwimana is a St. Joseph Worker from Rwanda serving at Regina Residence with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, California.]