Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christmas Season

Today is the last day of the Christmas celebration. Tomorrow we start Ordinary Time until Lent begins. What does that mean? Eat all the meat you can (with moderation, of course) till Ash Wednesday!

What does Christmas mean? Where did it's origins come from? The first Christian celebrations began with Easter, with the Resurrection of our Lord, not His Birth, according to the flesh. Benedict XVI said, "Because of this the most ancient feast of Christianity is not Christmas, but Easter: The resurrection of Christ is at the base of Christian faith; it is at the base of the proclamation of the Gospel and gives birth to the Church. Therefore to be Christians means to live in the mode of Easter, connecting ourselves to the dynamic that comes from baptism, which brings death to sin to live with God (cf. Romans 6:4)."

Hippolytus of Rome first made mentioned that Christ was born on December 25th. The point of the day was more theological rather than historical. Bible scholars recognize that on this day was celebrated the Dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, instituted by Judas Maccabeus in 164 B.C.. The concurrence of dates would come to mean that with Jesus, appearing as light of God in the night, advent of God to this earth, the consecration of the temple is truly fulfilled.

A lot of people thinks that Christmas came from pagan origins. That may be true, but as the celebrated Calvinist Abraham Kuyper said, "All truth is God's truth." (I'm sure loads others said the same thing, just easy reference). Where there are good things in culture, it belongs to Christianity. Where there are anything admirable, noble, of excellence, it's in the dominion of Christendom.

Benedict XVI explained, "Within Christianity, the feast of Christmas took on a definite form in the fourth century, when it took the place of the Roman feast of “sol invictus,” the invincible sun. Thus was shown that the birth of Christ is the victory of true light over the darkness of evil and sin."

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