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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas is here...the Lord Jesus is near!

“While they were there, she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger…”

Do you think that St. Luke had any clue as to the significance of these words? Do you think he had any idea it would come to this…I mean, this Christmas thing we do?

This birth was honored first by Mary, Joseph and a few smelly shepherds. The next year it was remembered in a stone and straw hut at Nazareth…a hundred years later in an underground community enduring persecution…a thousand years later in a more enlightened society that thought the world was flat. Here we are in 2007 doing what has been done by an ever-increasing number of people for more than two millennia.

For all this time, people have been considering the birth of this one person, this little child, to be an event so significant to them personally and to the entire human family, that we have found cause, year after year, to celebrate.

Let’s not over-decorate this happening in Bethlehem. There was no snow; there were no lights…just the unfortunate circumstance of a newly married couple about to have a baby with no place to stay. They found shelter in a stable used by men to corral their sheep. And this was a young, probably teenage girl giving birth with only the help of her embarrassed and confused husband. She gave birth to a son conceived at the message of a strange visitor from the heavens. She placed the baby in an animal feeder and they named him “Jesus” meaning “One who saves”.

That is what really happened. For thousand years and another thousand years, this seemingly insignificant event has been remembered and celebrated…because, deep down, we know, along with millions around the world, countless millions who have preceded us, along with all the angels of heaven…we know, that this simple birth is, in fact, the turning point of all human history.

We honor, not so much a moment in time, but rather a person, the person of Jesus…Jesus who is the very essence of God wrapped in the fullness of our humanity. What an amazing, awesome thing…our God has come to live and walk among us…and two thousand years later He still lives, mysteriously in our presence. I do believe that each of us seeks Him; we wish to touch and to know the mystery of God made human, the eternal Word made flesh. It is this search that motivates and fuels our work a CatholicTV.

For more than two thousand years peoples lives have been changed profoundly by this One person. For all this time people like us have come to Christ Jesus for hope and forgiveness and inner peace. He personally invites you with these words: “Come to me, all you who labor and find life sometimes a burden and I will refresh you.”

All praise and glory to Jesus Christ…He is with us.

Merry Christmas!

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