Happy third day of Christmas! While the rest of the world moves on from the holiday, for Catholics, the Christmas season has only just begun. I love this passage from a sermon by St. Leo the Great that is part of the Office of Readings every Christmas:
“Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.
No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life…
Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.
Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.”
This Christmas, let us remember our dignity as Christians. That we are a people of hope and not despair. That the end of the world (the date of which is known only to God) is not a doomsday to be feared, but the coming of our Savior, which we await for in joyful hope.
Let us also renew our efforts to remember and defend the dignity of all human life on this the “birthday of life”. God sent His only Son to bless the whole world, but, by intimately uniting Himself to the human race, He uniquely blessed all human life, showing us the incomparable value of every human person – from the very moment of its inception. Not only did Christ elect to take on our human nature, becoming like us in all things but sin, but he chose to begin his life on earth as the weakest and most defenseless among us, an unborn child. Because of this saving event we realize the splendor of all human life – including the unborn child and the unformed embryo.
God bless you all this Christmas season!