Merry Christmas

MLP

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

The theme of Christmas is the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that He was made flesh “and dwelt among us”.  He came to redeem us by taking our weak human flesh to reconcile us to God the Father.  He did this by His death on the Cross, but it did not end there as that would be like running a race without a goal.  His Crucifixion led to His Resurrection in which we are given new life in Him.  But He did not leave without giving us a promise: the promise of His own flesh and blood for the salvation of the world in the Holy Eucharist.

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, fittingly meaning “house of bread”.  Years later He dined with His disciples at the Last Supper, taking bread and saying, “This is my body,” then likewise the cup and saying, “This is the cup of my blood in the new covenant” and He commanded us to “do this in remembrance of me.”  Saint Paul says for as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim His death until He returns [1].  Ultimately we are united with Jesus Christ in His Incarnation through the Eucharist since in this most august Sacrament we receive Him body, blood, soul and divinity; not just metaphorically.  Remember, Jesus ultimately came to be the Lamb of God.  The Paschal lamb was eaten after it was sacrificed; for Jesus to properly be the Paschal Lamb, we must partake in His Flesh and Blood in the Eucharist.

We must remember Jesus is the reason for the season.  We must keep Christ in Christmas, but in order to do so we must also keep the Mass in Christmas.  After all, the word Christmas comes from the Old English term Crīstes Mæsse meaning “Christ’s Mass”.  Christmas is a Catholic holiday that Protestants have incorporated, which is why the Calvinists and Puritans outlawed Christmas.

Charles Wesley, founder of Methodism, wrote Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, in which it states, “Veil’d in Flesh, the Godhead see, Hail th’ Incarnate Deity”.  This is the theme of Christmas, the Incarnation of the Word: God made flesh.  However, Wesley did not recognize the goal of the Incarnation which was to offer the Lord’s Flesh and Blood in the Eucharist through His Passion and Resurrection to us.  Let us pray for the reconciliation of Christians outside of the Church, that they may become members of the Church and celebrate Christmas together with us in the Holy Eucharist.

[1] 1 Corinthians 12:26

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