Merry Christmas everyone!
The Christmas season has officially begun! For a lot of people, Christmas season seems to have begun much sooner. I noticed this year that decorations, advertisements and Christmas theme items began to appear the day after Halloween instead of the day after Thanksgiving. I guess there are a couple of different ways to view that but it seems to me that our world longs for the Christmas season because we long for more of Jesus in our lives. Although we may complain about commercialism and a loss of the sense of the sacred in our society, to believers it is truly Christmas that we prepare to celebrate! I have a special attraction to Advent and to Christmas so I don’t mind the extra hype. To me, it all serves to extend the reminder of Christ’s special presence among us and God’s incomparable gift of redemption, forgiveness bringing peace, reconciliation, joy and salvation to the whole world: That is truly worth some hype and celebration! In one of the traditional popular songs, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” it mentions that a special gift was received on each day of the Christmas season, which continues to the Baptism of the Lord. The song reminds me that one way of making Christmas Season special may be to space out our opening of gifts and gift giving through the season. As you know, the song mentions that the gifts received came from “my true love.” We offer tokens of love and esteem to each other in the form of presents and this is important because the love we have for each other flows from and points to God who is the source of love within us. We also know that our most true and lasting gifts are God’s love and mercy! The Christmas season is interspersed with special feasts: Saint Steven, The Holy Innocents and The Holy Family. Each of these feast days offers a particular window from which to view the mystery of Christ and his mission to save us. Let us ponder with Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and kings the gift of Christ our true love! Christmas Blessings of peace and joy to you all! +++ Fr Peter