Observations on Christmas
Jan 13, 2019
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
After today's feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we will be back to ordinary time in the Church year. We will observe this until Ash Wednesday when we begin Lent. Today's feast is the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus. As He rises from the water, the blessing comes from the Father: "This is my beloved Son, I am pleased with Him." It is this endorsement that shows His mission is from God. In other scripture the Father adds "Listen to Him."
I would like to offer two observations concerning my take on Christmas this year. The phrase which hit me was "The light came into the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it." This is still true today. Despite the nay Sayers, the message of Jesus is still light and a guide to all of us. We are to reflect this light to one another. How easy it is for us to enter into the darkness in our conversations and our attitudes. Yet, we are called to be light to the nations.
No. 2. I asked the questions of our Bible Study group: What did the giving of gifts, especially those given this Christmas, have to do with Jesus born as Savior." The answer was unanimous. It was difficult to find Christ in the presents. They reflected our culture, the things pushed in advertisements, what the children wanted, etc. I would like to offer a challenge: "How can we make the Christmas event and gift giving bring out the message of Jesus?" Someone mentioned they only gave 3 gifts as did the Magi. Some suggested the Heifer project and Catholic Relief services has a similar program, where you can give the gift of chicken, cows, plows and other items to families in poor areas in the world. Your whole family can study on it and I am sure the children could get into it as they see the gift they can bring to other children. Do you have other ideas? If you do, pass them on and I'll be happy to publish them. Discuss it with your family and see how creative you can be. It's not too early to think of next year.
Enjoy ordinary time when there are 7 days and always one followed the other. God's peace and love to all of you.