Tag Archives: Christmas

Nativity of the Lord

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Blessed be the Child who today delights Bethlehem.


Blessed
be the Newborn who today made humanity young again.
Blessed be the Gracious One
who suddenly enriched all of our poverty
and filled our need.

Saint Ephrem

Canceling Christmas is not an option

We all are hurting today. Whatever the reason, joy seems to be lacking in many. For some people any celebration of Christmas is out of the question. They believe that joy is not permitted due to the murders of children and adults. There is no room for hope, no possible way to feel anything but misery. There is no question that the radical absence of loved ones is very trying and almost hopeless. I think we can understand this line of thinking, but I think for people of true Christian faith this is not the answer.

Our friend, Dominican Father Peter John Cameron (Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat), tells us why Christmas is important and how it shapes our humanity and our belief that death and violence doesn’t have the final word. He makes a clear case for a true celebration of JOY. Father Cameron celebrates the sacred Liturgy weekly at the now famous Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, Saint Rose of Lima.
For your prayerful consideration: Fr. Peter Cameron Newtown Homily Dec 16 2012.pdf

Living in Joyful Hope

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During Advent and Christmas we await and celebrate
the birth of Christ in order to tune our hearts to await and celebrate the
fulfillment of God’s “plan for the fullness of time, together up all things in
Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10. What better way
to tune our hearts than by listening, with great care and attention to the work
of God?


In her book, Living in Joyful Hope, Suzanne Lewis offers short
verses from the Bible with reflections and prayers to serve as a springboard
for our personal reflection on the Word of God. Suzanne’s mediations are based on the theology of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Follow the link above.

The temptation of Christmas

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Have we finished the Christmas season in good order? Have we exceeded our expectation to live the season of Christmas differently from what secular culture has given us? Or, have we given up and just given ourselves over to the mediocrity of the the world around us with regard to Christian Faith?  What follows is a very interesting commentary on our Christian observance of the Birth of Jesus, the Nativity of God-Man by Father Julián Carrón. While the today brings to a close the Church’s yearly observance of Christmastide, we have work to do before we put to rest the nagging questions: what difference does this Child make in my life? AND Do we really believe that God is in our midst?


In order to describe our humanity and to see ourselves properly at this moment in the world’s history, it is hard for us to find more appropriate words than those contained in this passage by the Prophet Zephaniah. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!”. Why? What reason is there to rejoice, with all that is happening in the world? Because “the Lord has taken away the judgments against you”.

The first repercussion that these words produced in me was surprise at how the Lord looks at us: with a gaze that succeeds in seeing things that we shall not be able to recognize unless we participate in his same gaze at reality. “The Lord has taken away the judgments against you”: in other words, your evil does not have the last word over your life; the usual way you look at yourself is not the right one; the look with which you constantly reproach yourself is not true. The one true look is the Lord’s look. And it is precisely by this look that you will be able to understand that he is with you: if he has taken away the judgment against you, what can you fear? “You shall fear evil no more”. An inexorable positiveness prevails over life. For this reason, the biblical passage continues, “do not fear, O Zion, do not let your hands grow weak” Why? Because “The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory”. There is no other source of joy than this: “he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will renew you with his love, he will exult over you with loud singing” (3:14-17).

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Epiphany

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We celebrate a holy day adorned with three mysteries: this day the star led the Magi to the manger; this day wine was made from water at the wedding; this day Christ willed to be baptized in the Jordan by John in order to save us, alleluia. (Antiphon for the Magnificat, Second Vespers)

The Church prays

O God, who on this day revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations by the guidance of a star, grant in your mercy that we who know you already by faith, may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.

The Magi give us an example to follow: to walk diligently, to walk by faith guided by the indications of God –that is, the star– in order to arrive at what God wants to give. Himself. As Pope Benedict said on Friday, the Magi are the best example of “humanity’s pilgrimage to Jesus.” The giving of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh is merely the beginning of our gift to the Lord. Our gift is none other than ourselves, as freely as it is possible to give… 

Our first point on the pilgrimage is what is sung in the “The First Nowell,” Then entered in there Wise Men three, Full reverently on bended knee….

By walking this pilgrimage to Jesus, the Magi arrive at Truth itself. Do we have the courage to do the same or do we succumb to human opinion?

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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