“Where will you have your Christmas?”
A common question this time of the year.
What’s it mean? Usually, the person asking is wondering where you’ll have Christmas dinner, or where you’ll be when the presents under the tree are opened.
But, for us as believers, the essence of Christmas is not the festive meal — as eagerly as I await that joyful experience! — or even where we’ll gather with family and friends to exchange presents. (I’m all for that, too!)
No. For us as Catholics, the heart of Christmas is the Mass! Even the name of the holiday — Christ-Mass — implies the centrality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on this radiant feast of the Nativity of the Lord.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Hebrew word for “house of bread.”
Thus, on His birthday, we approach the Eucharist to receive this “bread of life” in Holy Communion.
Jesus was born in a manger, a feedbox, where creatures ate, because He desired to be food for our souls. He nourishes us at Mass.
In the baby Jesus, the divine was hidden within the tender, innocent, humble human nature of an infant.
So in the Holy Eucharist, the divine is hidden under the simple, routine, natural elements of bread and wine.
That first Christmas, God the Son, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, the Eternal Word, assumed flesh and blood.
At every Mass, Jesus Christ — body, blood, soul, and divinity — comes into our midst on the altar, into our souls.
In a way, every single celebration of the Eucharist is Christmas again, as Jesus comes to us in His Holy Word and in the Blessed Sacrament.
The tree, lights, carols, cards, gifts, family, friends, visits, wreaths, cookies, dinner — all cherished Christmas traditions.
But, the greatest custom of the all: Mass on the feast of Christmas!
So . . . where will you have your Christmas?
See you at Mass!
A blessed Christmas!