Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it. Meanings of Christmas Fr.
Then we would have a holy Christmas. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. Christmas…a Living Reality St. John Paul II December 19, John Paul II, in his Angelus message of December 19, , explained that Christmas is not simply the remembrance of the Event that took place years ago when, according to the Gospel, the power of God took on the frailty of a baby.
It is really about a living reality that is repeated every year in the heart of believers. Last Days of Advent St. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2, years ago in a little village of Judea. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life.
Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously. The Pope today presented St. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, as a model of recollection. Silence "is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God," Benedict XVI said.
He suggested that the faithful establish in these days "a kind of spiritual dialogue with St. Joseph so that he helps us live to the fullest this mystery of faith. Joseph," dedicated the apostolic exhortation "Redemptoris Custos" Custodian of the Redeemer to the adoptive father of Jesus. Joseph," observed Benedict XVI. Such a silence was "permeated with the contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to the divine will," Benedict XVI said.
Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith.
Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me.
We finally chose one made by Playmobil e. I have the Playmobil nativity and had been debating pulling it out this year due to my kiddos still being a bit young for it. Fear and hatred put Jesus on the cross that day, but love kept him there. This special edition of Our Daily Bread for Kids includes two weeks of fun studies, including questions, games and activities—perfect for spending time with God over the holidays! It really is better to receive than to give. The fourth candle reminds us of the gift of Peace.
The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.
Wreathed in Flesh Wendy M. John Paul II. In general, the tree is decorated and Christmas gifts are placed under it. The message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening. Such a St. As you can see, the possibilities are almost unlimited for these St. Nicholas shoe gifts. Nicholas, patron of shoppers and gift-seekers, and make Christmas this year fun, creative and love-filled. Advent calls believers to become aware of this truth and to act accordingly.
It rings out as a salutary appeal in the days, weeks and months that repeat: Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now! He is a Father who never stops thinking of us and, in the extreme respect of our freedom, desires to meet us and visit us; he wants to come, to dwell among us, to stay with us. God comes to save us. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis 15,1: PG 33, The Advent Season lives the whole of this polarity.
We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness.
And the joy we give will certainly come back to us. Liturgical Press, In other words, the incarnation is the starting point of our divinization. We are thus not passive bystanders at the incarnation. The incarnation radically transforms the history of the world and the personal history of each of us.
Because of it, each of us must measure up to God's plan and play his proper role in it. We must admit, however, that the injection of these elements, especially at a time when both the liturgy and the knowledge of Scripture were in decline, has turned Christmas, for many, into the feast of tender piety; midnight Mass is the most important thing to these Christians, and the feast has no further influence on their lives.
This new life consists in our sharing the divine nature. Here again, the Church in her liturgy has been guided by the theology of the Fathers. In the patristic reading for the Office of Readings on Christmas, St. The liturgy links the birth of Christ with a renovation , or renewal, with our generation , or birth, and with a novitas , or newness of life, as opposed to a vetustas , or decrepitude the state of one who is worn, decayed, old, and feeble.
The whole of creation benefits from the re-creation that is the fruit of Christ's suffering and resurrection and that is already implicitly contained in his birth. The whole of creation, and not man alone, experiences the regenerative power of the incarnation. The world was of course already consecrated to a degree, since God was the one who had made it, but the presence of the Word within the cosmos restores its dignity and gives it the possibility of rebuilding itself with the elements already at its disposal. Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words.
Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us. Christmas celebrates the dawn of the Light of the World.
The powers of darkness are overcome by his coming to share our life. The long reign of sin is ended and grace has been poured out upon the earth. The Sun of Justice has arisen, and evil is vanquished. Perhaps the hardest thing to remember about Christmas is this. The incarnation is an on-going process of salvation, while the nativity is the once-for-all-historical event of Bethlehem. We celebrate the stupendous fact of the incarnation, God entering our world so thoroughly that nothing has been the same since.
And God continues to take flesh in our midst, in the men and women and children who form his body today. In moments of discouragement, defeat or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things, usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind — in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved.
The Whisper of Christmas Joe E. Pennel, Jr. His nativity began to be celebrated on Dec. At the very moment when the days are the shortest and darkness seems to have conquered light, the sun passes its nadir. Days grow longer, and although the cold will only increase for quite a long time, the ultimate conquest of winter is sure. This astronomical process is a parable of the career of the Incarnate One. At the moment when history is blackest, and in the least expected and obvious place, the Son of God is born…". The glory of Christmas is that a gracious God became one of us to tell us that He loves us.
And, in his or her Christmas giving, the genuine believer symbolizes his or her inner desire to spread this Good News. Today we celebrate Incarnation! Today we rejoice! The eternal God comes into the flesh and blood of humanity. Christmas cards portray the little Babe, the Manger, the Magi, the shepherds.
But these pieces of the story only touch the edge of the mysterious event which brings us together. The Good News is that the God of Mercy has come into the history of humanity to bring us perfect peace. For the peace of mind and heart and soul that the world cannot give, follow Jesus. And when you follow Jesus, do not be surprised to see others following you.
After all, the spirit of Christmas is contagious. The Word assumed our humanity and, in exchange, human nature was raised to divine dignity.
The second act of the exchange consists in our real and intimate involvement in the divine nature of the Word. And that one time changed the world. The infant born that first Christmas grew in wisdom and age and strength; he suffered and died and rose again; and he saved his people from their sins. Heart of Christmas Dr. Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls.