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Rev. Thomas Edwards

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Woman charged
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Christmas celebrates more than a baby

placeholder December 16, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA
Christmas celebrates more than a baby

Sister Margie Lavonis, CSC

A few years ago I heard a new Christmas hymn entitled, "From the Cradle to the Cross." To me the words really expressed the true meaning of the Feast of the Incarnation or Christmas as we call it.

So often during this season we focus on a sweet, helpless little baby and often forget his great mission, the reason he became a human being. This little child in swaddling clothes changed the world forever. The Word (of God) became flesh and dwelt among us. He came to bring justice and love to the world and commissioned us to do likewise. We do not merely celebrate a child. We celebrate the grown up Jesus, our savior who fed the hungry, healed the sick, set captives free, and so on. This is the true meaning of Christmas.

When the parties are over, cards are sent, gifts are given and Santa goes back to the North Pole, we continue to celebrate "Emmanuel, God with us." The babe in the cradle began his journey to the cross and in doing so showed us how much God loves us. He rose from the dead and calls us to reveal God's love to all. We, in turn, are called to give birth to Jesus in the world, to "incarnate" him.

Remember this season of Christmas does not end after Dec. 25.

God's word challenges us to incarnate God in the world. Doing so must become a habit for we who call ourselves Christian. It is not reserved for special times of the year. The poor always need food and clothes. Homeless centers always need people to help with meals. Nursing homes are filled with people who appreciate visits, not just at Christmas. Friends like to hear from us at other times of the year too.

God waits every day to be given birth in our world. We are God's body. God becomes flesh in us and in our daily actions.

The only New Year's resolution a Christian needs to make is to be a more loving and hope-filled person in a world that is in need of much healing. Try to make every day a little Christmas.

(Holy Cross Sister Margie Lavonis works in communications for her religious community in Notre Dame, Indiana.)

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