Christmas is here so, no doubt, there will be a few more of those car stickers around announcing that “A dog isn’t just for Christmas - it’s for life” and once again the airwaves will be filled with the voice of Roy Wood, wishing that it could be Christmas every day. Well, here’s some Good News for anxious dog-lovers everywhere and for the wishful Roy Wood: “Christmas isn’t just for Christmas - it’s for life too!”
Christmas, the celebration of the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, is a reality and celebration for all time and everywhere, for everything that ever exists is caught up in the sacred mystery of the God who becomes human and lives among us. Jesus is the great hidden mystery, the blessed goal and purpose, for which everything was created. It is for the sake of Christ that all ages exist and all they contain. Therefore, whoever is initiated into the hidden meaning of the Incarnation of God in Christ (which issues in mysteries of his life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven) knows the purpose for which God created everything, for, as St. Paul reminds us: “In Christ all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… all things were created through him and for him…in him all things hold together.” (Col 1:16-17) And, in a sense, Christ is incarnated every day, throughout the world, on the altars of the Church and, through faith in the Incarnation, we believe that Christ comes to us, and is present to us, always and everywhere, even in the most ordinary and humble elements of our daily lives - present to us in even the simplest of things like bread and wine.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, through whom the Incarnation and the first Christmas was made possible, the ordinary elements of our daily lives are transformed and taken up into the mystery of Christ. So Christmas is not just for Christmas - it is for always and everywhere - it is for life. If the Good News gets out then concerned doglovers can rest easy and, whether Roy knows it or not, his wish has been granted - at last, he can stop singing that song now! I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas and a happy new year.
Fr. Frank Smith.