Tag Archives: Christmas

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.

The
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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A Social Network Christmas

My Mom sent me these two digital Christmas videos. See one and another here. Enjoy watching…

Over 2 million views thus far. Happy Advent!

How does the Vatican celebrate Christmas?

Edward Pentin, a National Catholic Register journalist and based in Rome, wrote a good article on Christmastide –Vatican style. We are in the middle of Advent and it’s time to think of Gaudete Sunday this coming weekend. Read Pentin’s article.

Significance of the Christmas Tree

Vatican Chrsitmas tree.jpegMy mother and the neighbors have had the Christmas tree up for a week. We’ve got three small trees. In fact, my neighborhood is alighted with Christmas lights. New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit last week with several stars entertaining us with “Christmas songs.” The Vatican put its Christmas tree, a gift from the good people of Bolzano, Italy (a German speaking of Italy where Pope Benedict has vacationed in the past) A little too early for my tastes. SO, it MUST be Christmas time!!! What does it all mean? But what does the Christmas tree stand for? How ought the Christmas tree be interpreted by the Catholic?

The Christmas tree began as a reminder of the tree of life and the life-giving cross of Jesus Christ. When you see the evergreen Christmas tree you will also see the life-giving tree of life on which Jesus hung as our crucified savior.
For those interested, a short history is helpful.

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God in Man is manifest (Epiphaniam Domino)

Epiphany Giotto.jpgLo, God in man is manifest!
tell out the joyous story:
tell how the Wise Men
worshipped the Son Incarnate.

Sages from furthermost Orient stream to bow before His boundless power. Who is the King whom the prophets foretold should come to save both Jew and Gentile?

Lo! He humbleth Himself from His throne of glory, taketh on Him the form of servant. He who is God before all ages now is born of the Virgin Mary.

See fulfilled is Balaam’s prophetcy:
Out of Jacob shall a star arise–
so ’twas promised! See the Wise Men offer Him their costliest presents:
Gold and myrrh and fragrant incense.

Rising up in power and majesty,
He shall strike with dread discomfiture
Moab’s princes.

Offerings significant: incense shows His Godhead;
gold, His kingdom; myrrh, His passion.
Join, then, in one solemn chorus and raise
the melody of praise and glory,
which may betoken oblations most rare
which to our Lord we fain would offer.

Praying that His true protection
over all nations be extended,
now and forever.  Amen.

from the Sarum Use of the Mass, Epiphaniam Domino

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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