Read this week's message from Father Don
Merry Christmas, my friends
How wondrous is the mystery of God-become-flesh. The Creator of all things has humbled himself to become a weak and dependant creature, a man like us in all things but sin. By this unfathomable event the world and everything in it has been changed. As Christians we are to live at the heart of this mystery, possessing a higher vision than the secular realm can offer, fortified and challenged every day by God-with-us, God-in-us.
Christmas is, fundamentally, a Church celebration not a family celebration. Its profound meaning has nothing to do with Xmas trees, decorations, turkey, eggnog, Santa Claus, fancy presents, or any of the other elements of our enjoyable dinners on December 25. Family dinners, of course, are a great way to build up family life, strengthen relationships and lift our hearts. They are important… but not more important than the definitive entry of God into the world.
Christmas is a Christian feast. It was established by the Church to help people enter into the solemn mystery of the Incarnation (God become man). The central aspect of the feast, therefore, is worship.
Throughout the ages, countless great Christian teachers and saints have offered us reflections upon the Christmas mystery:
The prophets foretold that God would be seen by men. As the Lord himself says: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. In his greatness and inexpressible glory no one can see God and live, for the Father is beyond our comprehension. But in his love and generosity and omnipotence he allows even this to those who love him. (St Irenaeus, 2nd C.)
Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today in time, so that he could lead us to his Father’s eternity. God became man so that man might become God. The Lord of the angels became man today so that man could eat the bread of angels. (St Augustine, 4th C.)
In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind. (Pope St. Leo the Great, 5th C.)
With Mary let us contemplate the face of Christ: in that Child, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in the manger, it is God himself who comes to visit us, to guide our feet in the way of peace. Mary watches him, caresses him and keeps him warm, pondering the meaning of the wondrous signs which surround the mystery of Christmas. (Pope St. John Paul the Great)
As Christians, we are stewards of a mystery and expected to share with others what we have come to know: God has become one of us.