The Meaning of Christmas

The Meaning of Christmas
Posted on 01/10/2018
Trust in God With All Your Heart

We are well into the Christmas Season.  I was asked the other day, “How did your Christmas go; what were your reflections on this day of Christ’s birth?”  One important thought to me involves Mary, a young girl from the tiny town of Nazareth, betrothed to a man named Joseph, who had hoped deeply enough for the Messiah, received a special grace from God: she was to give birth to His son, Jesus.  Jesus’ birth began in her heart; she was open and ready to receive this grace; she trusted in God with all her heart. Mary shows the central Christian teaching:  God loves us, trust Him. 

Also, the virgin conception demonstrated Mary would give birth to a completely new life.  In Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we are given a glimpse of God’s Kingdom, the future our loving God intended for His creation from the beginning.   In Jesus, we are assured life is eternal; God loves us and, if we trust in Him, all obstacles and difficulties will be overcome. 

Pray for all those who live with inadequate heating; and the homeless, that they are safe in these frigid temperatures. Pray for our students who begin the second semester of this academic year today.  Pray especially for seniors: they are near the end of their time at St. John’s Jesuit. “In times past, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets: in these days, he has spoken to us through his Son.” (from yesterday’s Christmas Season Liturgy) St. John Berchmans, pray for us. St. Ignatius, pray for us.  

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.  Yet so we are. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed.  We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Jesus, for we shall see him as he is.  (from today’s Christmas Season liturgy, l John 2:29-33)

The beginning of John’s Gospel declares of Jesus: “To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.”  (1:12)  Jesus’ life shows that eternal life is assured; Jesus has conquered death, we trust in this fact, revealed in Jesus’ resurrection.  But, although we have this eternal life, we await an even greater share of God’s life in the future:  “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John) In this fragile human condition there will always be challenges and difficulties; circumstances can break us; we make mistakes.  But as Jesus did in his passion, we accept this human condition, knowing that a loving God brings peace and justice.
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