On this second day of Christmas, the Church presents to us St. Stephen, the first martyr. The festive red color of Christmas is mixed with the blood-red of the martyr. The Church proclaims that Christmas is not just a custom, diversion, or triviality. Christmas is glorious — and serious. Christmas is the proclamation of Jesus' lordship. It is the Word confronting the world (see Wis 18:15).
The Church's Christmas characters are not Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty. Our Christmas saints are the fearless martyr Stephen, the massacred babies of Bethlehem, the bloodied Thomas Becket, joyful and sorrowful mother Mary, and Joseph the impoverished refugee. The Church proclaims that Christmas is not primarily for the consumers and shoppers but for the witnesses, the persecuted, and the poor.
You may have had the world's Christmas for years. Why don't you try something different and celebrate the Word's Christmas? Repent, obey, witness, and begin Christ's Christmas.
|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, 2008 through January 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008.