Merry Christmas, everyone!!
A common expression, often related to the joy of getting, is “Why can’t it be Christmas every day?”
For those who judge things by feelings, Christmas gives good feelings and therefore should be every day.
Fair enough. Yes, it would be nice if everyone lived in a spirit of giving and peace and love and all that.
But the one way to make that happen is to realize the TRUE meaning of Christmas.
Isn’t it funny how many television shows and movies set out to tell us the “true meaning of Christmas is giving” or “the true meaning of Christmas is family” or “the true meaning Christmas is children,” or all these things that *aren’t* the “true” meaning of Christmas? Overtly, they’re telling us to think of Christmas as being “about” those things, as opposed to gifts and parties and decorations. However, subtly, they’re also telling us that the “true meaning of Christmas” is giving or charity or love or family or children instead of Christ’s birth.
Christmas is the day we celebrate the day God became man. Most Americans, like Joan Osborne, seem to have missed the memo while opening their presents from “Santa Claus”: God *is* one of us. Jesus Christ Emmanual (the Anointed Savior, God-with-us), the Word of God, became flesh and dwelled among us, and we have seen his glory.
Yet He did not just become flesh and go away. The hope of Christmas is that God came to love us and save us. The hope of Easter is that Jesus rose from the dead so we could, too.
Most people don’t seem to realize that most Catholic/Fundamentalist issues boil down to one principle. I forget the exact verse or quotation, but it is, I think, from Hebrews, that Jesus rose to the Father’s right hand and will stay there to the end or something. Catholics most certainly believe that–indeed, we use it as one of the “proof text” arguments against the Rapture, since Scripture is clear Christ will not return in full bodily form until the end.
However, evangelicals take this passage as an indication that Jesus is no longer man. This is why they deny Mary is Theotokos: Jesus was God-Man on earth, but, they say, now that He has risen, He is no longer man any more, even though He ate food in almost every post-Resurrection appearance.
Jesus promised to leave us orphans, and He didn’t. He who was born in the House of Bread (Bethlehem) proclaimed Himself to be the Bread of Life and proclaimed bread and wine to be now His Body and Blood.
“Christmas” means “Christ’s Mass.” Christ’s Mass takes place every day. It is amazing how many people show up for Christmas Mass. The priest at the Mass I attended said they had 12 masses at his parish for Christmas. Many of these people are “CAPE Catholics” (Christmas, Ashes, Palms and Easter) who “fly away” the rest of the year. Many are Protestants who come, either because their churches don’t have services for Christmas or they recognize the greater solemnity of Catholic worship for the occasion.
One Christmas, when one of our patrons, St. Louis IX of France, was meditating on the Nativity in his private chambers. A courtier burst in. “Your majesty! There has been a great miracle at Midnight Mass in the palace chapel! While the priest uttered the words of consecration, the face of Christ appeared in the Host!”
The king, perturbed, turned and asked, “Why have you interrupted my meditation on the birth of Our Lord and Savior to tell me of a miracle which occurs at every Mass?”
The Christmas Miracle happens every day. God becomes flesh at every Mass. If everyone took advantage of that gift, every day *would* be Christmas.