The infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke contain some of the most cherished passages in all of Scripture. These stories have influenced everything from sacred art to modern pop culture, inspiring the imagination of all who read them. What we might not expect, however, is that the infancy narratives are not merely about the baby Jesus. As we prepare our hearts to hear these familiar stories this Christmas, we would do well to remember that the infancy narratives are also about our hope in the crucified and risen Jesus.
In 2016, Pope Francis raised the rank of today’s celebration of Mary Magdalene from Memorial to Feast in the liturgical calendar. This means that not only will the special readings for the day be proclaimed, but the Gloria will be prayed, and, for the first time ever, a special Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer will be included in the celebration of the Mass.