Christ Is the Reason Our Weary World Rejoices

This Sports Illustrated headline about an Indianapolis Colts player caught my attention: “Colts Center Ryan Kelly Announces Tragic Death of His Infant Daughter.”

When I clicked on the link to read the story, I found more details. Yes, his infant daughter died. But more specifically, his preborn infant daughter died. Kelly’s wife was 19 weeks pregnant with Mary Kate when the baby died of heart failure.

Kelly tweeted:

Nothing made me happier than being your Dad. . . . You gave your Mom and I that gift. You were simply a miracle and always will be. I’m sorry you never got to open those sweet eyes and see us or take your first steps but you have angel wings now. You left this world too soon but we know God had a bigger purpose for you. Your mom and I find comfort knowing you’re being loved on by your great grandparents.

Emma, Kelly’s wife, wrote:

I was so angry at first that I had to deliver her, only for it to become the biggest blessing out of this nightmare. . . . It gave Ryan and I the opportunity to hold our little Saint, Mary Kate, before officially saying goodbye to her. These 19 weeks with her opened our hearts & souls more than we ever imagined possible & I’m forever grateful we had some time, earth-side, with the little girl who made us mom and dad. She was tiny, perfect and incredibly loved from everyone who knew she existed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kelly family as they suffer this incredible loss, especially so near Christmas. And we are so glad that they got to hold and kiss Mary Kate.

As we pray for the Kelly family and think about the baby they lost, we can take solace in the knowledge that she is now in heaven with God. This special baby has already left her mark, as thousands of people—who know and understand the humanity of the preborn baby—have expressed their condolences to the family.

This story has gotten so much coverage that we can only hope that those who didn’t understand the humanity of the preborn baby before now see her in a whole new light.

These last couple days of Advent, let us ponder the immense blessing that each baby brings. Whether sick, healthy, stillborn, or born with a disability, all babies have value. All babies matter. And all babies are loved by God, who chose to come to us as a tiny baby.

Christmas is almost here. On this day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. He wasn’t rich. In fact, He was born in a stable. And He grew up here on earth with one purpose: to die so that we can be saved.

The last year has been difficult for many. And though it’s hard to want to celebrate or feel joyful when we’re suffering, we can take solace in the love, the mercy, and the compassion of that baby who grew up to be the man who died on a cross for us.

So no matter how difficult life’s journeys get, remember that Christ walks them with us. No matter how tired, dejected, lonely, or crushed we feel, our Lord is there for us to lean on.

In the song “O Holy Night,” we hear the words “a weary world rejoices.”

Our world is weary. We too may feel weary. But in Christ’s birth, we do rejoice. And in that baby, we find a love we can only begin to imagine.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Celebrate Life Magazine! We hope you have a very blessed Christmas!



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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.