After such a long, dangerous and grueling trip, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, a name which means “house of bread.” It is fitting that the Christ-Child born there is the bread of life who gives himself—his flesh and blood—as food for eternal life.
Although Christ most certainly loves you, he reserves his exquisite and indescribable gifts for those who prove their love for him. Here are some helpful spiritual exercises for proving your love for the Savior during the Christmas season.
It’s the octave of Christmas—”the most wonderful time of the year.” I’m taking some moments these days to consider why this time of year is full of wonder…and also why the wonder is often overlooked.
Like the shepherds, we encounter Christ in a very personal way at every Mass–especially in the Eucharist. Yet it is not enough to simply and passively receive this great gift with joy. Joy naturally is received and shared. The full meaning of Christmas and its encounter with the Christ-child moves us to become evangelists, that such an immense joy might be shared with all.
As I grew up in the Church, my family celebrated Advent in the weeks leading up to Christmas day. We didn’t catapult from Thanksgiving right into Christmas, but anticipated Christmas, which deepened our understanding of its true meaning by nourishing our lives by faith in Christ—and that made all the difference.