Christmas – Shadow Of The Cross
In one of my earlier parish some youngsters were decorating the parish crib in preparation for Christmas. Since the Crucifix did not seem appropriate for the season, they were thinking of removing it from the background wall when I happen to walk in. I urged them to allow the crucifix to remain as I explained, “After all, that is why Jesus was born – to die on the Cross !!!”
Over the Crib is the shadow of the Cross. In both cases, we have a God who chose to be vulnerable. God in Jesus makes an option from the moment of his birth – an option to enter the powerlessness of the human condition. In Jesus God empties himself. This self-emptying reaches its climax on the Cross. He does so to Lift Us Up …..
Christmas arose in history as the ‘starting point’ of the Passover festival of Easter, as the inauguration of the death-resurrection event. Unfortunately, Christmas has now taken on an importance of its own, to the extent that in the minds of many it is a greater feast than Easter. Moreover, Christmas today is in jeopardy. It has become the object of commercial greed that has robbed us of the inner peace we look for during this blessed season.
The true meaning of Christmas can be seen in the context of the “Passover” event, the story of a child born to die and who is therefore wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in the ‘manger’ because He is destined to be our food, the Eucharist. Christmas tells us of a new Moses whose life as an infant is threatened by an unscrupulous king and a Passover that must begin precisely from Egypt. During the last few years our slogan was “Put Christ Back Into Christmas”, today we must “Put Easter Back Into Christmas” and experience the inner Peace and Harmony that Our Lord gives us as He lifts Us Up!!!!
I wish each and every parishioner a Blessed Christmas. May the Lord fill your homes with Peace and Joy !!!!!.
- Fr. Constancio Noronha