The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all, but wait....

Has "Christ" been officially taken out of Christmas?

There's no need for that confused look on your face; many share the same sentiments as I do. Listening to the stories of old by our parents and grandparents, one could wonder how they were even happy during Christmas with the little that they had, but those were truly the days of thanksgiving and appreciation for the smaller and simpler things in life. There was always time for God back in the day.

The long anticipated day was finally here as my family and I moved around the house getting ready for this special occasion in Church history. Fighting back sleep as best we could we made our way to Church before the seats were all filled, but not bursting at the seams. There is something special about bringing in Christmas at the Vigil Mass. Thankfully arriving there early as usual found us sitting on the Knowles' bench.

Christmas carols started around 11:40 and went on until midnight when the Christmas Mass officially began. Merry Christmas greetings came from St. Thomas More's newly appointed Priest Fr. Anselm Russell, welcoming everyone to the celebration Mass of the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Bringing greetings of joy in his homelitic remarks Deacon Dennis Mackey addresses a question that many people still pose today, and that is, why was it necessary for the Word of God to become flesh? To put it in a short context as explained by Deacon Mackey, Jesus took on our humanity because we "the world" needed a savior who could reconcile us to God. In the Nicene Creed we declare each week "He became man for our sake and the sake of our salvation." By becoming flesh He showed us His tenderness love and mercy for us sinners. Jesus sacrificed His life for the atonement of our sins by shedding His blood on the cross.

Even with all that we have learnt growing up and hearing the story told repeadily as to why we needed a savior, one can not help but wonder why the Churches on Christmas Day is not bursting at the seams as we find happening at New Years Eve service? As Deacon Mackey had indicated, the world needed a Savior so God sacrificed His son Jesus by sending Him to dwell among us and to die for our sins. My theory is that many of us only require a savior when the New Year rolls around, as though that may be the day that Christ returns to claim His people. "If I am in Church on New Years day when the clock strikes 12:00am then I stand a chance of being saved."

Have we truly forgotten the true meaning of Christmas? Has Christ been yanked out of Christmas and replaced with all of the commercial sales of merchandise and gifts, toys and decortions. Unfortunately I had to work today, but let it be known that I had options that afforded me the opportunity to make it to Church at the Vigil service. I am happy I did not allow satan to make me come up with excuses why I could not make it.

Besides the fact that today being Sunday is a day of rest and prayer among many Christians of various faith denominations, it is also Christmas Day. In the Catholic Church Sundays are considered a day of obligation which means that unless you are sick or must work then you are required to attend Mass. In addition today, December 25 is also a Feast Day as we commemorate the Birth of Jesus.

The New Advent Encyclopedia clearly defines the meaning of Feast Days and Holy Days; "Feast Days, or Holy Days, are days which are celebrated in commemoration of the sacred mysteries and events recorded in the history of our redemption, in memory of the Virgin Mother of Christ, or of His apostles, martyrs, and saints, by special services and rest from work. A feast not only commemorates an event or person, but also serves to excite the spiritual life by reminding us of the event it commemorates."

While heading to work I could not believe what I saw on the sides of our streets; a grand number of merchants still selling items on the sidewalks. I do not believe the malls and shopping centers are open, however if you forgot to purchase that last minute gift item I guess there are still merchants around who know that there are many who shop even on Christmas Day. Are we serious? Can we not just put aside at least one day for Jesus. There are many of us who do not even like to work on our own birthdays, yet we find no problem in doing what we wish on Christmas Day. Those who are serious about their faith will absolutely not fall into the trap of working on a holy day of obligation.

There is only one reason for this season and we must not forget it. Did you remember to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday and to thank Him for coming here on earth as expiation for your sins. Happy Birthday Jesus, I'm so glad it's Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Here in Rome, all traffic is gone and folks are home with one another. I know that there are folks that have to work (i.e. medical, hotels...) but I think IF you can be home, it is a signal to the world that there are more important things in life, like each other, and of course, the good Lord. It's like a moment in the busy year when things seem a little bit saner, and the world stops to breathe. God bless your Christmastide! :)


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