Christmas stands for the celebration of the Eucharist or the memorial service of Christ. It began with the departure of Jesus and became a celebration of the birth of Christ. Theologically, Christ means the Anointed and Mass stands for the service we render to or in behalf of Christ. Christmas is not just a time of rejoicing over Jesus’ birth, but also a time of anointing. It is a process of renewing life in leaving behind the past year and rededicating to a new one. Like the season, we humans need to shed old luggage and start out or over in new ventures. Life needs to be revitalized because it ages. The word “Christ” means anointed. Anointing is not a one-time act. It is a constant, or at least a once a year renewal, not to faith but to service.
Christmas for me began when I was 21 in a hospital bed. An accident disabled me for life six days before Christmas in 1951. It was in an 18 months hospitalization that I began to ask what can I do for Christ and not what has He done for me. There was never a time when I did not believe. My problem was not faith but the lack of deeds. I was at a point in my life where very few options were available to make a living. One minister, against all advice and odds, directed me toward the ministry. Instantly, joy filled my heart as I embarked on an endless study and service for Christ. It was not an easy task. Handicapped servants were not readily welcomed. I had to learn to accept what was handed to me and was rewarded for the privilege to serve spiritually and materially. The Lord even sent a very lovely young lady that looked passed my scars to become my wife and we were blessed with three sons and eight grandchildren. A ninth has preceded us into heaven.
Christmas for us is a time of renewal. We count our blessings and disappointments and move on. And by leaving behind some old luggage, life becomes easier and more hopeful. And like the seasons, life too must be renewed to take on the burdens and challenges. Have a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!