Dec 252011

December 25 is the first day of Christmastide and the octave of Christmas.

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

Nativity of the Lord

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst

We get the word Christmas from the name of celebration: the Mass celebrating the Christ. I wonder if those who do not consider Catholics as Christians, the Mass as heretical, and the pope as the whore of Babylon wish others a Merry Christmas.In Church vernacular, we call today the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord.

A Solemnity is annual celebration of great importance to the Church. The word come from two Latin words (solet and annus).

Nativity is also Latin and means “birth”. Your birthday is your nativity.

Many Biblical scholars and historians believe the first Christmas occurred in September 6 BC. Also every year, there are the humanist who complain that the Church co-opted an Roman feast and replaced it with Christmas. So what??

Does it really matter if He was born in wee early morning of December 25, 0000 or at noon on September 25, -0006?

Does it matter if the people wanted to celebrate the darkest day of the year and the Church offered them a celebration of coming of the Light of the World? It’s not like the Roman Empire is still around to complain but the Church still remains.

What is important is that we do the Incarnation of the Christ!

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

A Partridge in a Pear TreeToday’s gift is A Partridge in a Pear Tree which represent Jesus Christ.

He is presented as a mother partridge in memory of His lament over Jerusalem, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Matthew 23:37

The pear tree signifies the wood of the manger and of the cross. The fruit of the tree reminds us of the reason for the Incarnation: God’s desire to save us from the sin introduced by Adam and Eve’s sin.

All the gifts in the song are sent by “My true love”. This represents God, the Father, giver of all good gifts.

Today’s Readings

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Lectionary: 14) Midnight Mass readings

“He shall be called Wonderful, God, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come: of whose reign there shall be no end.” Isaiah 9:5