Christmas is God in human language. It is not simply about the birth of a child, but rather the coming of the one who will preach the Sermon on the Mount, instruct us by parables, and establish his Church.
This is why it makes no sense to welcome the child but reject his teachings. It is inconsistent to prepare for and celebrate Christmas but refuse to accept the fullness of the Gospel that this child proclaimed.
That Gospel has taught from the beginning that life must be protected, including life in the womb. There can be no such thing as a “pro-choice Christian.” A rejection of even a single life is a rejection of Christ himself.
This Advent and Christmas, let us welcome Christ and all those whom he loves.
Scripture tells us that on the first Christmas, when the shepherds arrived in Bethlehem and saw the baby in the manger, they understood what had been told to them by the angels. Why was it at that moment that they understood the message?
Perhaps it is because a baby is so approachable. After all, the angels said that the Savior was born for all people. Nobody, no matter how poor or lowly, should be afraid to approach him. And how can God become more approachable than by becoming a little baby?
God continues to reveal himself in the tiny babies yet in the womb. He invites us to see Him in them, and to love him in them.
As we enter the second half of Advent, the liturgy focuses more specifically on the Incarnation and birth of Jesus at the first Christmas. We think about Mary’s initial fear and uncertainty in the face of her unexpected pregnancy. Then, in every Church in the world, believers spiritually rush to her side to eagerly await with her the birth of the Savior.
The best way for a parish to celebrate Christmas is to rush physically to the side of those in the community who, like Mary, are uncertain and afraid about their pregnancy. We are to accompany them through their pregnancy with support and encouragement, and help them experience the fact that every birth reflects the joy of the birth of Christ.
One of the Christmas songs playing on the radio in these days is called “Grown up Christmas list.” The singer says that the list is not for herself, but for a world in need. This list includes, “no more lives torn apart, that wars may never start…that right would always win.”
Christmas is a time for wishing for good things, because we know that God has given us His Son — and if he has gone that far, as St. Paul declares, how will he not give us everything else besides?
Let us increase our longing, then, that every life may be secure, safe from the violence of abortion and euthanasia, and from the ravages of poverty, crime, and war. Let us write our Christmas list with confidence.
On Good Friday, we sing, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” We imagine standing along with Mary, St. John, and the others on the first Good Friday. And the answer to the question is “Yes.” We were there, because He died for us, and our sins were on His shoulders.
What about Christmas? What if we sang, “Were you there when the King of Kings was born?” Nativity scenes, and the meditations which spiritual writers provide us about that first Christmas, help us enter in to the drama and meaning of that event.
There is a way to be there, and it is to open ourselves to the joy and meaning of the birth of every child – to see in each child, even the unwanted and unexpected, a reflection of the Christ who comes even today.
Staten Island, NY – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, commented on the Senate’s vote on the Nelson Amendment to the health care bill. “Those in the Senate who rejected this Amendment have voted to let their attachment to the abortion industry interfere with health care reform in this country. These Senators could have listened to their constituents and opposed abortion funding. Instead, they are allowing this effort at reform to be hijacked by abortion extremists.
The Immaculate Conception is about Christ’s power to destroy sin. Mary was sinless from the first moment of her life not because she did not need a Savior, but because she was so close to the Savior. It is always and only through Jesus Christ that Mary receives her special favors and graces.
Today’s Feast is meant to give us confidence that we can say NO to any temptation. The same Christ is ready to strengthen us to do what is right. This is the kind of confidence we need to inspire in those who are pregnant and feel they cannot carry the child. God, through Mary, always provides us the strength to do what is right. Inspired, by her, let us reach out with eagerness to all those who are pregnant and in need.
St. Augustine said of Christmas, “God became man so that man might become God.”
Christmas is about a wondrous exchange of natures: God shares our frail humanity, and we share his divinity.
The joy of Christmas is not just that a child is born, but that a whole new humanity is born. This new humanity is not disconnected from the old, but is radically renewed and redeemed. Just as in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Christmas, then, is about the destiny of the human person. Christ promises: “I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne”.
Christmas goes far beyond the natural blessings of kindness, goodness, family, and giving. It is about sharing the Divine Nature, starting right now. “He who believes has eternal life”
Our Lady of Guadalupe is patroness of the unborn. Priests for Life has therefore composed a special prayer novena to prepare for her feastday. This novena for life begins today and can be found at priestsforlife.org.
The prayer asks for renewed hope, because Mary points us to Christ, who has conquered death.
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image ended the practice of human sacrifice among the Aztecs. The novena asks that the human sacrifice of abortion end through her intercession.
It asks that we may have compassion for all those tempted to abort or who have had abortions.
Please join this novena at priestsforlife.org, and invite your family, pro-life group, school and parish to take part in it as well.