Tag Archives: Christmas

Epiphany – Theophany: we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality, Pope said

Pope Benedict Epiphany 2011.jpgSadly, the bishops in the USA moved the celebration of Epiphany to a Sunday but in other dioceses, particularly Rome, the traditional Epiphany Mass is celebrated. How much is lost when we monkey around with the sacred Liturgy!!! At Mass today, the Pope preached, given in part:

“In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its
greatness and rationality,” said Pope Benedict, “we cannot fail to read the
eternal rationality
; we can not help but be guided by it to the one God,
Creator of heaven and earth.”

“Herod is a
character whom we do not like, whom we instinctively judge in a negative way
for his brutality. But we should ask ourselves: maybe there is something of
Herod in us
? Perhaps we, too, on occasion, see God as a kind of rival? Perhaps
we too
are blind to his signs, deaf to his words, because we think they put
limits on our lives and do not allow us to dispose of our existence howsoever we

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Epiphany 2011

O wondrous exchange!
The Creator of humanity,
taking upon Himself a living body,
vouchsafed to be born of a virgin,
and, proceeding forth as man, without seed,
has made us partakers of His divinity.

Adoration of the Magi PAertsen detail.jpg

“The Magi worshipped a simple Child in the arms of his Mother Mary, because in him they recognized the source of the twofold light that had guided them: the light of the star and the light of the Scriptures. In him they recognized the King of the Jews, the glory of Israel, but also the King of all the peoples” (Benedict XVI).

A blessed Epiphany to you!

Recognizing the birth of the Savior!

romae bambino gesu 2010.JPG

An old Roman custom is reverencing the baby Jesus. One approaches the figure of the Christ child to bestow a kiss, often kissing the foot of the figure. It is a captivating gesture of recognition of the birth of the Savior.

Thanks to JP Sonnen for the picture.

Christmas at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, Baghdad 2010

The commemoration of the Nativity of the Lord in all places of the world moves my heart as it does for all people of good will. More than ever the Christmas observance in Baghdad at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, the place of the brutal killings of Christians –laity and clergy alike– on October 31, 2010.

clergy at OL of Salvation.jpg
OL of Salvation Baghdad.jpg
Christmas observance OL of Salvation Baghdad 2010.jpg
May the newborn Savior, Jesus –Emmanuel– lead us more deeply into our humanity
and to perfect union with God the Father.

Pope Benedict’s homily for Christmas Eve Mass 2010

Christ draws us to Himself through beauty. Beauty in the sacred Liturgy, in music, words, human gesture, the human body, indeed, through His own birth. Here the Pope tells us again that the birth of the Savior, the Incarnation of the Word, i.e., God, really happened in history; it is a fact, not a legend or a pious myth. The birth of Jesus is not “a just nice” story and it is normative for all of humanity, all of history. The following is Pope Benedict XVI’s homily given tonight at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City State, Rome.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

“You are my son, this
day I have begotten you” with this passage from Psalm 2 the Church begins
the liturgy of this holy night. She knows that this passage originally formed
part of the coronation rite of the kings of Israel.

The king, who in himself is
a man like others, becomes the “Son of God” through being called and
installed in his office. It is a kind of adoption by God, a decisive act by
which he grants a new existence to this man, drawing him into his own being.

reading from the prophet Isaiah that we have just heard presents the same
process even more clearly in a situation of hardship and danger for Israel:
“To us a child is born, to us a son is given. The government will be upon
his shoulder” (Is 9:6).

Installation in the office of king is like a
second birth. As one newly born through God’s personal choice, as a child born
of God, the king embodies hope. On his shoulders the future rests. He is the
bearer of the promise of peace.

Baby Jesus, St Peter's.jpg

On that night in Bethlehem this prophetic
saying came true in a way that would still have been unimaginable at the time
of Isaiah. Yes indeed, now it really is a child on whose shoulders government
is laid. In him the new kingship appears that God establishes in the world. This
child is truly born of God.

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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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