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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

CHRISTMAS DAY 2014

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At Christmas the Christian Churches throughout the world celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, it is the first day in the octave of Christmas as well “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Son of God became man to give us a share in that divine life which is eternally His in the Blessed Trinity. Throughout the Advent season we have waited for the coming of our Savior. Then on the 25th of December we celebrate His birth with unrestrained joy. But as joyful as we might like to be we should remember that for a large number of people young and not so young Christmas is not a happy time. Not happy because many are homeless, because they are not able to provide for their families the way they would like. We need to remember that in many houses throughout the country things are not as good as they might be. Children are not unwrapping the presents as they may well have none. Many families are not preparing to sit down to a big Christmas dinner because they are going hungry again as there is not much food in the cupboard and the little food that they may have may well have come from a food bank or other charities such as St. Vincent DePaul and the Salvation army and we remember the charities and their outreach as well.

During the Christmas season there is an extensive exchange of greetings and good wishes among friends. These greetings are a reminder of those “good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people, for this day is born to you a Savior Who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11). They are a reminder, too, that all blessings and graces come to us from Christ. During the Christmas season there is also an exchange of gifts. But with the exchange of gifts comes the responsibility to remember those who have little or nothing at all in terms of a roof over their heads and food in the cupboard

During Christmas we are reminded  of the mystery of Mary as Mother of God, mother of the Incarnated Word, and mother of His mystical body, the Church. Christmas encourages us to contemplate Jesus together with Mary, reflecting on Jesus with ‘His mother’, as recounted many times in the Gospels. Our faith cannot neglect a profound devotion to the Mother of God, as she shows us the easiest way to reach Jesus. In the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes the inscription on the mosaic over the Altar is to Jesus through Mary and the mosaic shows Mary with open arms and again at the wedding at Cana  Mary told the attendants as she tells us do whatever he tells you. These are two pointers for us in our modern day as to what we should do in order to follow the light of Christ Christmas also reminds us of the great mystery of God’s people, the Church animated by the life giving Spirit, governed by the legitimate shepherds in communion with the successor of Peter.

So, why do we celebrate Christmas? It is more than the birth of Jesus. It is a celebration of God with us. It is the realization that God’s love for us and faithfulness to us dwells among us. It is a sign that we are to carry that love and faithfulness to other people. Like the Baptist, we, too, are to witness to God’s living, breathing Word and we are called to rejoice and be faithful so let us adore the Lord Jesus in the manger the reason for the season and bring his love and joy to those we meet in the days ahead.

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