St. Sylvester stands as an example to the Church in 2016 and 2017. We still have issues about our public presentation and relationship to various governments. We still struggle with reconciliation, especially among different races. And we still divide ourselves over fundamental theological disagreements. Perhaps our New Year's resolution, as a church, ought not to be to solve these problems too quickly.
Christmas tells us of a loving God who created the wonderful universe. Its wonder staggers the imagination. But when man had lost his way, God sent his Son to call us back to the glory he had in mind when he created us. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men.”
The Herodian thirst for power led to countless children being baptized by blood, a baptism our Lord himself would escape only for a season (it was necessary first for him to be baptized in water to fulfill all righteousness).
Christmas is a season of joyous celebration because God loves us so very much that he was willing to give up everything for us.
The Feast of the Nativity — the Church’s celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation — cannot be merely an extension of the good things of “the holiday season” as the secular world keeps it. Christ’s birth cuts at an angle to all the kingdom of this world: all of our bad things, and all of our good things — all of our sad things, and all of our happy things.
The in-breaking of the kingdom of God shows up to me rarely in the grand gestures of life, but instead in the tender moments when God slows me down long enough to see the truth of God’s love, which silences — even just for a second — the lies of depression.