Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2010. "Come, let us adore Him": To love the newborn Christ it is necessary to worship Him alone

If someone returned to earth from 1000 years ago and saw so many people huddled over tiny electronic gadgets in their hands, or held for long periods to their ears, or even risking an accident in order to use such while driving a car, what would they think? They might think that we were in love with our cell phones! They also might make the very reasonable assumption that we worship these small communication devices, devoted as we are to bringing them with us wherever we go, and showering them with care and attention as we do.

But we would laugh if they accused us of these things. We know the difference between a love of adoration or worship and a love of the convenience 0r usefulness of cell phones. Or do we? We only want to remain in loving communication with our spouse or children or to be able take care of business while away from the office.

Many Catholics say they love God, but though physically capable of doing so no longer genuflect in His Presence at church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Many receive Communion with their hands hanging down near their belt buckle, appearing as though they believe that the One whom they receive is less important than ordinary bread. Some refer to the consecrated Eucharistic species as "bread" or "wine", either revealing their own confusion or causing confusion for others. Many talk in church when others are trying to pray, forgetting that the primary purpose of visiting our church is to spend time in loving devotion for and attending to God. Some are habitually casual or indifferent about regular attendance at Sunday Mass, even causing scandal by failing to take their children to Sunday Mass when they are able to do so. These are lost opportunities for the worship of God by which we grow in love of Him and in the grace of faith by which we are to be saved.

For the full text of the homily for Christmas, please click here to visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy.

In photo: The Santo Bambino, or holy child, displayed each Christmas at the church of Araceoli on the Capitoline hill in Rome.

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