Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Kevin offered Christmas greetings yesterday, and I also extend those greetings to all our readers-students, faculty and alums.

Since I am the first one awake this morning I take the privilege of writing the post for Christmas Day. I considered Christmas Cheers & Jeers, but without editing I doubt Matt and Brian would be too happy. So I address an overplayed, but non the less salient topic.

I am not a person who particularly enjoys Christmas. I never have. I understand the spirit of the season and I have seen every version of A Christmas Carol more than once on midafternoon cable (Muppet version is the best). But for whatever reason it has not been a particularly important holiday to me-I always enjoyed "American" holidays like Thanksgiving and July 4th better. It could be some of the anticlimactic gifts that I received as a selfish child (which admittedly still lives in me somewhere). It could be the general lack of Christmas-i-ness in Southern California; it doesn't snow, it doesn't even get cold-I ran the AC in my car on the way to Mass this evening. It could be some personal disgust that I harbor for the rampant consumerism that has unfortunately overcome the real meaning of Christmas; yet I know that this consumerism keeps many Americans employed and for that we should be thankful based on how the economy is running these days. What probably affects me most though is my lack of religious appreciation. Most of us treat Christmas as if it were the be-all and the end-all of the liturgical year, which it is not. That designation is reserved for the Triduum. I have been an altar server since 5th grade and I can attest that Triduum gets short shrift compared to the crowd that turns out for Christmas Eve and morning Masses. Further compounding the problem is the erroneous idea that Christmas(December 25) actually coincides with any significant religious date, which it does not. It coincides with Winter Solstice (in the Julian calendar) and the pagan celebration of the birth of the sun. Birth of the Son, anyone? But I digress.

In the last several weeks I have heard almost nothing about Jesus, outside of a specific Church context. I haven't even heard of goodwill that much. We hear this every year, but Jesus is the reason for the season. It should be brought back to Him, or at the very least it should be about "peace to all the world and goodwill to man." Unfortunately, America has a long way to go before we can realize this.

In closing I wouldl iek to relate the homily given by my pastor (a Notre Dame grad) this evening. He had two volunteers (little girls from the audience) unwrap two presents. One contained a home-made Teddy bear that Fr. McGuine had received a few years ago. He had named it Jesus (Hay-Zeus) in honor of the season. As nice as that gift was Father explained to the children that it is less valuable than Jesus (Geez-us). The second package, Father explained before the girls unwrapped it, contained a gift more valuable than Jesus. Well, they went at it to get to that which is more valuable than Jesus. Predictably, they were greeted with an empty box. "Nothing is more valuable than Jesus," Father told them, "not even tickets to the Charger game that starts in a little while." While the girls' father may have had something to say about that, Father McGuine got his point across. Jesus is with us year round, not just during the holiday season. So, let us recognize the gift of Christ in our lives and in the lives of others, not just these next twelve days but all year. At school and at home, with friends and family, in joy and sadness, Jesus is always our greatest gift, given by God so that all who believe in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Merry Christmas,
Rover SoCal correspondent


Anonymous said...

nice job, Brandon!

Silver Surfer said...

What's with http://www.irishrover.net being expired? 8^(

Greer Hannan said...

that was really beautiful, Brandon.