Christmas is Christ
By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
JUST in case we
forget, Christmas is about Christ born to us. The reminder has become
necessary because proofs of the disfiguring of Christmas are
No less than the Pope
reminded us not to be dazzled by the shopping lights of the season but
to keep focused on the coming of Jesus Christ, the “true light of the
In a town in the US, a
controversy erupted because a group put street signs saying, “Keep
Christ in Christmas.” Obviously when messages like that have to be put
up in public, there must be something quite wrong in that place.
This was verified when
another group precisely kicked up a fuss about it citing legal
provisions. Instead, the group wanted their own banner to be hung in
the streets, saying: “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may
reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or
hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and
superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
Ah, ok. No problem. We
have freedom of expression and of consciences. If atheists want their
messages publicized, that’s just fine. But let’s not deny believers
their right also to show their faith in public, as long as public
order is observed.
The legal basis of the
group’s complaint is that the “Keep Christ in Christmas” signs were
put on public property, which turned out to be false, since they were
on private property. But that legal basis raises the questions like,
should public property then be devoid of religious signs? Would
religious signs already create public disorder?
I’ll leave the people
concerned and their public authorities to resolve that issue, but I,
frankly, just find the reasons behind the ban of religious signs on
public property funny. To me, it’s taking the principle of
Church-state separation to its ridiculous conclusions.
Truth is, for
Christian believers, we need God, we need Christ, who is the second
person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God who became man, to save
us, to complete our creation, to give us a way to attain the fullness
and perfection of our human dignity.
God is our creator.
We, and the universe around us, just did not come to exist on our own,
quite spontaneously out of nothing, since from nothing, nothing comes.
We are not our own creator.
In our case, since we
are creatures of reason and will, our creation by God has to be
corresponded to with our reason and will also. Paraphrasing St.
Augustine, we can say that if God created us without us, he cannot
complete that creation without us. We need to correspond to God’s
creation of us. We need to cooperate and bring it to its completion.
In other words, our
creation by God is still a work in progress. And our life here on
earth is precisely where that “progress” has to take place, where the
lifelong drama of our correspondence or non-correspondence to God’s
work becomes the ultimate purpose of our life.
This is a truth of
faith that is actually meant for everyone, but especially more for
believers than for non-believers. For the latter, we need a different
tack that uses reason and philosophy more than faith and theology.
This piece is addressed more to believers.
We need to be reminded
that as Christian believers, we need to be ‘alter Christus,’ if not
‘ipse Christus,’ another Christ if not Christ himself. That’s because
Christ is the very pattern of our humanity. We cannot live properly
without him. Remember Christ saying, “I am the truth, the way, and the
We become another
Christ through God’s grace, but also through our cooperation, when we
let our mind and heart, our intelligence and will to get engaged with
Christ in the spirit.
In short, we need to
assume the mind of Christ, following what
said that “we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2,16) We need to train
ourselves for this ideal, realizing that our thoughts should not just
be our thoughts, but also those of Christ. The same with our will, our
desires, our plans, etc.
Our life is always a
shared life with Christ. It’s a reflective life driven by reason and
faith, and not just a life animated by the senses and reason alone.
For this, we need
humility, otherwise we won’t allow faith to guide our reason. We need
to study, develop virtues, so that Christ becomes alive in us, and
true Christmas becomes a reality!