01-12-2014Weekly ReflectionDeacon Ted

Dear Parish Family,

CHRISTMAS is becoming Christmas again!!!

It was an amazing Christmas season! Not white as I always hope for (thanks to summer like tempatures the Monday before Christmas!). But the feeling of Christmas throughout the month of December felt a lot more like Christmas and a lot less Politically Correct this year, at least to me. Here are some of the things I remember from this past Christmas Season, where I found Christ in Christmas:

Christmas Carol music in malls and stores that included songs of a religious nature
A radio station advertisement about God's peace at Christmastime
Songs being played on radio stations that were religious in nature
Several comic strips in the Sunday papers with a religious theme
Cashiers and clerks wishing me a "Merry Christmas."

Although none of these are shocking by themselves, you know how things have been the last few years with lawsuits and news stories about towns having to take down mangers and Christmas Trees, and towns calling their Christmas Concert a Holiday Event, and their Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree, etc., etc., etc. What is the difference, at least, what did I notice about what was happening differently? A single person. That's all it took, one person, to make a difference. Here's what I mean:

One person chose to say "Merry Christmas" and not "Happy Holidays"
One person wrote a comic strip and it eventually was published for all to see
One person (someone I know) stood up at a town meeting to confirm that the town Christmas Tree was
going to be called a Christmas Tree this year and all agreed it was.

In the end, it always comes down to personal choice – one person, as we see in the Bible:

John the Baptist was "a voice of one, crying out in the desert" (Mt 3:3)
Mary said yes to becoming the Mother of God (Lk 1:28)
Joseph listened to the voice of God in a dream and decided to take Mary into his home. (Mt1:20)

It is not a surprise to see that some people try to mold the world to their liking and have little regard for
other people, or traditions, or religion:

we should change Santa to be a thin person to be a healthy role model for children
we should change the words in this Christmas Carol to eliminate the religious part
we should not say "Merry Christmas" because we might offend someone.

We can always choose to keep Christ in Christmas by saying it and writing it (and not some word that starts with an "X") and singing about it and wishing a "merry" one to everyone we meet, no matter what any other person chooses to do. By standing up for Christmas we stand up for Christ (Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ's birth), and if we stand up for Christ on earth, He will stand up for us at the end of the world! (Mt10:32)

May the peace, joy and happiness of the Christmas Season remain with you and your family throughout 2014!

Deacon Ted