Okay, I admit that the title for this article is a little startling. We are celebrating Christmas, right? Check your calendars. It is still December. Look outside. The liturgy is talking about Christ’s birth and the stores are boasting Christmas specials.
But I couldn’t resist not sharing with you an insight into the glory of Christmas that I discovered in a very old book The Mass Through the Year by Aemiliana Lohr.
Sharing this is important to me because after reading the reflection, I am finding myself saddened that our Christmas celebrations never stretch us beyond “remembering” and “re-enacting” the first Christmas or drawing some comforting or, less often, a challenging application from the Christmas narrative for our own lives. Many present-moment Christmases disappoint as we recall the memories of Christmases of happier years or sorrow through Christmases that now are marred by anniversaries of losses we still regret.
We are not the shepherds who were startled from sleep by choruses of angelic delight eagerly awaking a slumbering world to the unexpected and truly wondrous news that the mighty Savior lay waiting for them in a manger. No. We have read the Gospels. We know Jesus’ story. We’ve heard his parables over and over again. Each Lent and Easter we’ve commemorated his death and resurrection, and in Baptism we’ve died with him and have risen with him….
The Church can’t see the child in swaddling clothes laid in a manger without remembering the memorial of his other birth from the tomb.
The solemnity of the birth of the King Christ was in view of the day on which his power and rule would be solidified as he rose from the dead and ascended to his place beside his Father in heaven. ...