The Feast of Christmas

The Feast of Christmas

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 Merry Christmas!  Tonight the Church celebrates the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Christmas 275xThe Feast of Christmas was initially celebrated in the late fourth century only after Christianity became legal and became the official religion of the Roman Empire! The December 25th date was chosen to counter a popular Roman Pagan holiday.  Scholars speculate that Christ was actually born sometime in mid-March!

The Old Universal Calendar the Church of the saints, before it was revised by Pope Paul VI in 1969, originally celebrated Christmas Eve (12/24) as the feast of Adam and Eve, our first parents! This indicates to us that the Church always did and still does esteem the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, kings, queens, and holy men and women as saints!   By being here tonight should remind us of few things:

  • First, that Christmas must always remain Christmas. I say again, Christmas must always remain Christmas. Despite other secular and religious holidays at this time of year, we must not let Christmas get lost in the “holidays.”
  • Secondly, the Christ child cannot be sidelined by snowmen, Santa’s, elves, reindeers, bells and tinsel. The Nativity scene must always remain central to Christmas.
  • Third, Saint Nicholas is a real saint of the Catholic Church. He was a bishop of great charity toward children and the poor in the fourth century!
  • Fourth, the truths of the birth of Jesus exists within the Gospels. The first Christmas was an act of divine intervention when the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary. It was a miraculous birth, directly caused by God.
  • Fifth, Angels are not mythical figures but spiritual beings from God who interact with humanity. In the Bible we hear of angels speaking to Mary, Joseph, shepherds and others.
  • Sixth, the sighting of the star and coming of the magi proclaimed the divine revelation that God intended salvation for both Jews and Gentiles through Jesus.
  • Seventh, the Christmas season begins tonight (today) and end on the Feast of the Epiphany! It did not begin the day after Thanksgiving and it does not end the day after Christmas.
  • And lastly, the evils of King Herod foreshadowed the rejection of Christ that would lead to His passion and death, and serves as a reminder that there will always be people in our lives who hate and despise anything to do with Christmas, and so therefore, Christmas must always remain Christmas, and not just a winter holiday shopping season!

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Epiphany,The Three Wise Men

These men are not to be confused with the wise guys. There is nothing foolish about them and it would be safe to say that there would be no bad jokes in their repertoire. Rather, they took special note of a star and followed it wherever it went. It is reminiscent of the Israelites wandering in the desert, following the pillar of cloud in the day and pillar of fire at night in Egypt. This is a very serious commitment. They could have traveled up to two years to see this child. They left their home, and safety to literally God knows where. Continue reading