Luke 19:45-48 A Timely Reflection
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things.
T’is the season for…???
That is the question. What are these so-called “season greetings”all about?
It’s that time of year when we need to ask this question. It’s nothing new. It’s actually been going on for quite some time now. And it’s a good thing. Before there was Wal-Mart and Black Friday, there was Thanksgiving. Before Frosty and Rudolph appeared on the scene, there was the child Jesus and the Nativity scene. Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God and family, two rare commodities in today’s “Give me, give me” society.
Advent is a time for us to prepare for the Lord’s arrival. Not my own. It’s a time to make room for Christ in Myspace; to tweet him; to add him to my Facebook account, and to do a little bit of Face timing with the Lord.
Sacred and Profane. “I, John heard a voice from heaven speak to me. Then the voice spoke to me and said, ‘Go, take the scroll that lies open…and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey’” (Rev 10:8-11).
Thanksgiving is a sweet moment. Life is precious. Marriage is beautiful. Christmas is wonderful. These are sweet moments in our lives that have turned sour with time. Instead of reflecting and resting with friends and family, they have turned into all-night shopping with workers striking and shoppers waiting anxiously for hours outside the bitter cold for bargains and steals!
Ho, ho ho, what we will do for a steal!!! And oh, what we will not do for the Lord!
These are sacred moments that have turned profane. And we have only ourselves to blame.
These moments belong to Christianity! We own them! And over the course of centuries, their meaning have been stolen – hijacked – by opportunists, politicians and secularists, and turned into commercials and sales. And while they did it, we didn’t put up a fight. In fact, we joined in…merrily, merrily, merrily, for life is but a dream.
It’s not easy for Christ to compete with Christians. It’s not easy at all. It’s not easy to convince parents that their child’s first communion outfit is not as important as the Eucharist. It’s not easy to convince brides and grooms that their vows are more important than their reception! It’s not easy at all. Even baptisms are an expensive affair. It seems to me that the only sacrament that has not been commercialized thus far (and therefore not in high demand) is the Sacrament of Confession. After all, how can you commercialize something that you can’t talk about? How can you commercialize that? For a child’s first Holy Communion, you can publicize that by dressing them up. The same goes for baptism and marriage. But how many kids get dressed up in their “First Reconciliation” outfit? How many parties have you attended for a child’s first confession? That’s okay. I prefer it that way. But no wonder it’s hard to get children and parents to go. It hasn’t been market studied…yet.
What can we do? Simple things. Nothing complicated. You know what they are. Set up a nativity scene outside your home. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if every single Christian identified themselves with the season?
Greet people by saying “Merry Christmas” or “Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family”. Refuse to waste hours and hours a day shopping. Buy simple gifts this Christmas. Give holy cards to children. Make room for the marginalized. Let your children and grandchildren remember how you never commercialized the Holy Days. Don’t ever feel guilty about that. Don’t let a secularist or atheist or opportunist manipulate you or the season. Don’t let their religion (shopping and money) become your religion.
Finally, read to your children true and authentic Christmas stories. Watch movies that are rich in virtue, respectful of family and faith filled with the Christmas spirit. Not the sacrilegious and dehumanizing anti-family, anti-faith and anti-virtue movies that seem to pop up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Let’s keep Christ in Christmas and the beauty and sweetness of God and life from ever becoming spoiled, rotten and sour.
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