Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas, my child, is love in action

“The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel and found their lamb; the wise men saw the light of a star and found their wisdom.” – Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

(Gospel text: Luke 2:15-20)
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

All of us are familiar with the character of Ebenezer Scrooge depicted in Charles Dickens famous novel, A Christmas Carol, or we have come to know of him through movies and television specials aired during the Christmas season.

Ebenezer Scrooge is completely self-absorbed.  He is resentful of the demands made upon him by those who are poor and less fortunate.

Scrooge, a tragic figure indeed, is visited by three spirits: the spirit of Christmas past, the spirit of Christmas present and the spirit of Christmas future.

The dramatic journey elicits his repentance. He becomes aware of his past indifference and cruelty and is moved to be more generous and benevolent toward those he had been mistreating in the past.

Through a profound catharsis, Ebenezer Scrooge learned how to live for others and not only for himself. By breaking the circle of his ego, he had enabled the light of Christianity to invade his soul and change him into a new man filled with joy and hope.

As Pope Benedict XVI recently wrote: "The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life. While Christmas is undoubtedly a time of great joy, it is also an occasion for deep reflection, even an examination of conscience."

The terrible problems that challenge the world this Christmas are not really a God problem, they are our problems. 

How will we respond?

The answer is not a what, it is a whom.  "I proclaim to you good news of great joy; today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord"

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