Thursday, December 22, 2011

"And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

The joy and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, born for us, be with you! This Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011, we celebrate Christmas, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Discussion Questions will guide your Sunday Bible Study with family, friends and church groups.

The meaning for us of Luke's Christmas story is completed by the prologue of John's gospel read at Mass During the Day (Jn 1:1-18). Christ is born of Mary so that he might be born and live in us. Those who accept the Word who became flesh become the children of God, not by natural generation, but by divine grace. The good news of Christmas will not be fully realized until we can say with Saint Paul: "I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me" (Gal 2:20).

We are short-staffed because of the holidays but your ParishWorld still comes with a full complement of relevant articles for Christmas Day, one of the most blessed of all holy days.

The Meaning of Christmas

A full section of the many Christmas Mass homilies we have prepared for you can be found here in this link. From the Vatican, Pope Benedict preaches that Christmas is more than just an anniversary. We also bring back an address he made a few years back where he explained why Chrsitmas trees are part of our tradition. As well as another piece where the pontiff reiterates that Christmas is not a fairy tale for children. And Fr. Peter de Souza reflecs on why the gift of life is the Christmas celebration.

Why do we go to Midnight Mass? Sr. Anne explains its biblical roots. How did December 25 become Christmas? We have the answer here. Plus we list for you the twelve daily celebrations of Chrismastide, the season of Christmas from Dec. 25, Christmas Day, to Jan. 6, Feast of the Epiphany.

Celebrating the Holidays

Are you offended by the term "Xmas?" Should you? We explain to you the meaning of the term and why it's best you fight biogger battles instead. Like using the greeting "Merry Christmas" instead of the politically correct "Happy Holidays" that's being promoted by our secular society. We bring you seven reasons why Merry Christmas will always beat Happy Holidays. TV and media personality Ben Stein also chimes in on the topic. A Jew, he highlights that he himself doesn't get offended by the greeting as he offers this reflection on God, Christmas and our way of life.

There’s nothing quite like this wonderful time of year to gather round with the family and sit by the warming roar of a television set. Christmas has inspired some of the finest cinematic classics – as well as things like Jingle All the Way. Here's a list of the Top 5 christmas movies. Pluswe picked  some holiday videos that will surely kick the Chrtistmas spirit into high gear. Thje forst is a rousing albeit slighly irreverent rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Followed by a really cute Nativity Story told by some young school children from New Zealand.

Arwen Moser talks about their family's holiday picture tradition. While Life Teen offers gift-giving suggestions that can result in cool holiday gifts with just little investments of time and love. Finally, we take you around the world with a grand slide show that illustrates the grandeaur and challenges of the holy season.

Merry Christmas! May the love that Jesus, Mary and Joseph experienced during that first Christmas Day fill your home with blessings, happiness and goodwill.

Another eventful week in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

BURNING QUESTION: Why was Jesus born in a manger?
FEATURED BLOG: What are the Twelve Days of Christmas?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Navidad es la fiesta de la luz de Cristo

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