How would you like to have a Christmas just like the first one in Bethlehem? Most Christians would have to say they don't want anything like the first Christmas. Who wants Bethlehem poverty, the manger, and the rejection at the inn? Who wants Christ's Christmas of love, sacrifice, and self-denial instead of the fake Christmas of self, comfort, and pleasure-seeking?
Of course, most of us modern Christians think we can have both, by having a worldly Christmas with a few spiritual touches. However, the Lord says; "No man can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other or be attentive to one and despise the other" (Mt 6:24).
"O you unfaithful ones, are you not aware that love of the world is enmity to God?" (Jas 4:4) "Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love has no place in him, for nothing that the world affords comes from the Father. Carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show — all these are from the world" (1 Jn 2:15-16).
To have a Bethlehem-Christmas, we need a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3), John the Baptist instead of Santa Claus, Confession instead of confusion, and fasting instead of feasting.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2006 through January 31, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006.