Sunday, December 25, 2011

(57) What Is Christmas Really?

The True Meaning of Christmas
By Fr. Tim Davison

 Sts. Peter and Paul Parish-Tulsa
1436 N. 67th E. Ave. , Tulsa 74115
(918) 836-2596

       Fr. Tim Davison was born and raised in Gallipolis, Ohio and is a product of St. Louis Church there. Currently, he is pastor of a large parish in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While visiting his ailing father, he gave this very eloquent and meaningful sermon on Christmas Day 2009 in the church where he grew up.  It's one of the most beautiful Christmas homilies that I've ever heard.  I think that it will give us some insight about the magic of Christmas.

     It's about love.......a God who comes down to our level to share our human condition. A God who lovingly empties Himself to save us. We don't have to ever feel distant from God. He is one with us in our lowly human condition!

        It's about humility.......the humble God lying in the manger as a baby.......poor, without pretense, inviting the shepherds who were society's outcasts to be the first to see Him. It is about a God clothed in human flesh.

        It's about peace.......the peaceful God who desires that all mankind live in harmony with Him and one another.......the God who reconciles and takes a human body so as to offer it to His Father for the peace and salvation of the world.

         It's about friendship.......the God who befriends humanity and who even wishes to be loved in return.......who thirsts for humanity's love.

       It's about joy.......the God who gives joy to the poor, the lonely, the prisoners, the sick, to the immigrant, and to all in need. Christmas is about the God who comes to lighten mankind's many burdens and to share our pain.

       It's about God and us. God's incarnation says to us that we are creatures with great capacity, divine capacity. And it says that God wants us to be filled with His divine nature and share that nature.......and that that is possible.

         Christmas is about the family of man that includes God as its foundation, its origin, its destiny.

         Christmas is about sharing.......God shares with us and we share with God our humanity.

         Christmas is about light that drives away the night. It is about the defeat of death itself.

      Christmas is about God taking up the battle for us. It is about Good that triumphs over evil. It is about God with us.......our Emmanuel.

       Christmas is a tender feast. There is a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. How can it evoke anything, but thoughts of love in us. There is His pure, so happy, so lovely to behold. There is his gentle foster father so filled with love and reverence for the miracle of this baby born of a virginal mother.

        Where does Christmas happen now for it is not over? It happens in our hearts as we invite God to enter into our lives. Indeed, Christmas happened in Bethlehem long ago, but it happens again anew each time we lovingly welcome our humble God.

        Bethlehem means house of Bread. Jesus is our bread of life. He is our nourishment.......He is food and drink for our human hunger and thirsts. He wants to fill us and be our very life. Here at this very Eucharist we will meet Him again –our humble God-- our loving Savior and friend.......our Emmanuel. It is truly Him that descends upon the altar through the hands of a Priest. Come let us adore!

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