Yahoo, everyone, we are in the Christmas SEASON!

Posted December 26th, 2017 by CLMrf and filed in View From the Pew

By Robert Fontana

Christmas-CarolersKeep those carols playing on your Pandora, keep drinking eggnog (with or without the rum), keep your tree up, and certainly keep a candle lit next to your nativity set.  Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, the eternal word of God, was born of Mary.  It’s a story that is “too good to be true,” yet it is true.  Jesus was not a phantom, a ghost, a god who pretended to be human (and certainly not a human who pretended to be a god).  Jesus was fully human and fully God, yet he was conceived in the womb of Mary, and grew like any baby for nine months before being born in a stable.  He nursed at Mary’s breasts, had to learn to walk and talk as any child does, and needed the guidance and example of his parents (and extended family and friends), to grow into the person God was calling him to be.  This Jesus gave his life for the salvation of the world and is fully present to us today through the Holy Spirit.  We want to keep the celebration of Christmas going so that we can soak up and live in the deep truth of Christmas: the divine became human so that the human would become divine.

Here’s how we keep Christmas, not just as a DAY, but as a SEASON, from Christmas Eve to the great feast of Epiphany or Three Kings.  Epiphany is celebrated internationally on January 6, but in the U.S. it is observed on the 2nd Sunday after Christmas which this year is January 7.  Perhaps you could celebrate Epiphany with the following prayer:

  1. Light the three candles of the Magi (for gold, frankincense and myrrh) and say the Magi prayer each day (usually at dinner): To Bethlehem we travel with the Magi from the East, across the days of Christmas, to the Epiphany Feast.  Give us the courage of the Magi as we begin our search for you.  Give us the eyes of the Magi that we might see the star that leads us too.  And when we get to Bethlehem on that Holy Epiphany Day, give us the courage of the Magi that humbles us to pray.                                                                                           
  2.  Keep your decorations up until Epiphany or even the Baptism of the Lord, January 8, which is the formal ending of the Christmas season.
  1. Make plans to share your time, talent and treasure over the Christmas season with someone or a group of people who are struggling with life. Last year our daughter Colleen helped us organize dinner and activities for Spanish-speaking migrant teens staying at a nearby detention center. This year we baked an extra pan of lasagna for Christmas dinner, then walked through the nearby park to serve dinner to men and women living in tents.
  1. Pray. Read the daily Mass readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122617.cfm).  Light a candle each morning, place it next to your nativity set, and sit in silence for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Plan an Epiphany party with family and friends. Make crowns for all to wear in honor of the three kings, serve ice cream at breakfast with your kids and/or grandkids.  Give a gift to someone you love.  And by all means go to Mass or your service at church.  Gather with other disciples as you join with the Magi from the east to worship the Christ Child.

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