December 20, 2021 | Miles Christi
At Christmas, Holy Church sings full of joy, in a traditional hymn: “Come and behold Him, born the King of angels; O come, let us adore Him.” Our holy faith teaches us that this poor Child who rested on the straw of a manger, in Bethlehem, is God Himself, Who, having compassion for the state of man after the Original Sin, has come to redeem us. Before such a sublime truth, we can do no more than imitate the example of St. Joseph and our Lady, who, together with the kings from the East, falling down, adored Him (Mt 2:11), as the Gospel tells us. Thus Pope St. John Paul II exhorts us: “Come, let us adore the One born of the Virgin, the Word of God, who for us men and for our salvation was made man by the power of the Holy Spirit. Eternally born of the Father, he is born in time as Man, he comes into the world at Bethlehem as a child on Christmas night” (Christmas message Urbi et Orbi, Dec 25, 1982).
Since that night in Bethlehem, two thousand years have now passed in which His grace has been extending itself over us. Today, at this Christmas, His graces desire to pour themselves out in abundance. However, to do this, it is necessary that we prepare the manger in our soul, given that the Lord desires to be born in our hearts. Let us not imitate those inhabitants of Bethlehem who closed their doors to the birth of the Savior; let us rather imitate those humble shepherds who came running to His cradle in response to the call, and went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen (Lk 2:20).
On the other hand, let us live this Christmas spirit with our families and friends. Let us avoid making this feast a mere social celebration in which gifts are exchanged. Isn’t it remarkable how our Catholic Christmas tradition has been destroyed? Haven’t we turned Christmas into a commercial “product”? The crèche has given way to other symbols foreign to the true religious spirit of this celebration. What a shame! We have secularized one of the great mysteries of our faith: that God became man and was born in a poor stable.
May the Lord renew in us that mystery of mercy, lead us to a spiritual rebirth, and grant all of us a very merry “Catholic” Christmas!
P.S.: The first of January, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, as well as being a Holy Day of obligation, is also a very suitable occasion given us by Holy Church so that, in the Holy Mass, we may put all our hopes for the year that is beginning in the hands of the Blessed Virgin. Let us make use of this opportunity and prepare ourselves to ask from God, through the intercession of our Lady, Mediatrix of all graces, those spiritual gifts which we most desire for the coming year. Let us not neglect to pray for the needs of the entire world, especially for the true peace that we so much need. Happy New Year!