Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Feast of Christmas—25 December A.D. 2017
Ave Maria!

Please pray for Alfie Evans, 17 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English


    First of all, let me thank all of you who contributed in any way to make this celebration of Christmas possible.  A lot of work went into what you see here.  So, thank you! And Merry Christmas!

    In one of his sermons, given about 1500 years ago today, Pope Saint Leo the Great suggested that today is a day on which it should be unlawful to be sad.[1]  By its very nature, Christmas should be a day of good feeling.  I have always liked to say that “it is a time when we should feel good about feeling good.”

    And, classically, Christmas has always been that for most people.  It is a pretty universal thing to see parents, first of all, going out of their way to make Christmas a happy time for their children.  They may deny themselves things they would like to have, but most make a real effort to have at least a few toys for the children, and they try to decorate the house in a festive manner (a tree, some lights, a few ornaments), up north they do their best to see that the children are warmly dressed.

    Even the poorest people try to have a few things—at least for the younger children—that they can claim that Santa Claus brought.  The jolly old man in the red suit is one of those myths that just about everyone wants to perpetuate, and maybe even to believe a little bit themselves.

    Most people try to make certain that family and friends are together as much as possible for a good substantial meal on Christmas day.

    Businesses close, factories shut down, and most everyone looks forward to a little time with the family, or just to a day of peace and tranquility.  Even nations at war often try to arrange a period of truce—a time without hostility, in and around Christmas day.

    Now, certainly, all of these things are good, and as they should be.  There should be love among friends and family.  There should be opportunities to visit and share a meal, and a cup of eggnog, or a glass of brandy, or whatever.  There should be opportunities to give the ones you love a little something special—just to see the smile on their face.  I hope you will all have the opportunity to do some of these things during the next few days.

    But, I also hope you will understand what it is that is at the center of all of these pleasant things—and what it is that must be kept at the center of our lives if Christmas is to retain its joy in the future.

    Christmas isn't joyful because of colored lights and tinsel.  It isn't joyful because of dinning and drinking.  Not because of the music that seems to pervade the atmosphere.  These things are not the cause—they are only effects.

    The central reason for our joy is one that, all too often, we lose sight of.  Christmas is a joyful time, precisely because it is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because it is a tremendous sign of God's love for His people.

    Without God's love, the world is a rather cruel and chaotic place.  All of the material things of the world are impermanent—We and all of the things around us are subject to deterioration and decline.  Left to our own devices, people can be quite hostile with each other—there will always be “wars, and rumors of war.”[2]  We have seen how nature itself can turn on us, and unleash its fury.

    It is only through liberal doses of God's love that we are elevated above simply material creatures—that the gates of heaven are thrown open to us—that we somehow rise above the continuous change and uncertainty of the material word, to share a little of the stability found in the spiritual life.  Only through God's love—and by loving Him in return—are we able to draw consolation from the promise of eternity.

    There is a Santa Claus [!]—But Santa exists only because there was a bishop named Nicholas—Saint Nicholas—who gave many gifts to the poor and the needy of his church, simply for the love of God.

    There are Christmas presents under the tree tonight only because there was a Christ for the Wise Men to give Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

    If there are truces among warring armies—if there is, in any sense, “peace on earth,” it is because people still retain some conception and some respect for the Prince of Peace—the one Isaias said would “turn swords into plowshares.”[3]

    At every Mass of the Christmas season, and at many Masses throughout the year, we sing or recite the hymn sung by the angels on Christmas eve at the birth of Christ;  “Gloria in excelsis Deo,”—“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”[4]

    That is the essential meaning of Christmas—one that we should try to live in our own lives -- and communicate to all those around us -- all throughout the year.  By giving "Glory to God in the Highest,” we will bring about “peace on earth,” and “good will toward men.”

    This is indeed the time for “feeling good about feeling good,” the time for making God's love and happiness our own, and sharing it with those around us.

    May God bless you, and grant you His peace, the peace that only the Baby Jesus can bring to the world and to each of us.



[1]   Pope Leo I, Sermon #1 On the Lord’s Nativity, Lessons iv, v, vi at Matins of Christmas




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