Christmas

Christmas

Fr. Joseph Levine; December 25, 2020

Today we celebrate the birth of Christ the Savior. He came to give his life on the Cross to save us from sin and death.

Today, we celebrate his coming, his birth into this world. Christ is born in the today of eternity, the Son of God. He was born in time of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, a little child in the manger. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit may he be born ever anew in our hearts that we might be born with him in eternal life.

This child whose birth we celebrate today is adorable not in the weak sense that we say every newborn is adorable, but in the true sense of the word, because he is God to whom alone we owe our absolute and unconditional loyalty, devotion, and submission. He is adorable because he is the be all and end all of everything.

During Advent we were preparing for the coming of Christ the Judge. It is the same Christ, who is judge and savior. Indeed, if we attend well to the reality there was already a judgment, a separation, that was manifest at the time of Christ’s birth.

On the one hand there were those comfortable people who had no place for Mary and Joseph. On the other hand there were the shepherds who came from their night watches to adore the child in the manger.

On the one hand the people of Jerusalem, the religious professionals, and King Herod were disturbed by the message of the Magi. Herod wanted to kill the child. No one, living in fear under the dominion of Herod, accompanied the Magi to Bethlehem. Nevertheless, the Magi foreigners went and adored the child in the manger.

This judgment fits with the words of Jesus, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light came into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. (Jn 3:16-19)

This Christmas the light of Christ brings a similar judgment on the world by means of the pandemic.

The pandemic has revealed, for those who have eyes to see, the evil of the rich and powerful of the world (the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, Klaus Schwab and the other agents of the “Great Reset”, and the likes of Bill Gates and George Soros, together with their political lackeys) who seek to exploit the pandemic to further cement their own iniquitous power structures. The abortion industry is part of that power structure and now the connection between the pharmaceutical industry, and the development of vaccines, and abortion industry is being made manifest. The pandemic regime of lockdowns (with partial re-openings, everchanging regulations, threats and realities of new lockdowns, and even the promise of the vaccine) serves their designs. They, and others like them, are the Herods of today’s world.

The pandemic has also revealed something else: the general lack of faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior, even within the Church. Would the celebration of Mass be closed down in so many places throughout the world were it not for a lack of faith?

The pandemic has revealed the vast numbers of people who are living in fear of death: it matters not whether it is their own death or the death of a loved one. The fear of death enslaves them and subjects them to the manipulation of the Herods.

The Letter to the Hebrews addresses this fear of death from which Christ came to free us: Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, Christ himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. … Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. (Heb 2:14-15,17)

It would seem that a great many people, whether they call themselves Christian or not, are once again living beneath the fear of death. There seems to be very little real hope and desire for eternal life with God in heaven.

Through the centuries Christians have lived through real pandemics and local epidemics – plagues that have devasted whole cities and nations or the terrible Black Death of the 14th century that wiped out half the population of Europe and maybe a fifth of the world population. Surely Christians experienced grievous sorrow during those times, but they were always lifted up by the hope of eternal life.

Now we are faced with a ‘pandemic’ that has taken the lives of .02% of the population of the world and .09% of the population of the United States. Further, I expect that for the majority of those who have died, if you were to have asked someone close to each person at the beginning of the year, “Would you be surprised if so-and-so were to die this year?” The answer would be something like, “I hope it does not happen. I hope he has a few more years left in him, but honestly no, I wouldn’t be surprised.” The surprise is only that the pandemic is making it all happen in a shorter space of time. Nevertheless, we are ruled by the fear of death.

The pandemic has revealed the extent to which worship of bodily life has replaced worship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who through his Body bestows eternal life. Now, the hospital has taken the place of the Church.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not urging people to be reckless, either of their own lives or the lives of others. Wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home when you are sick.

We do, however, need to stop looking at reality through the lens of the news media and the dictates of a godless government. We need to start seeing things in their true proportions, in the light of Christ. The Savior who was born for us this day has redeemed suffering and death, removing their sting, making them means by which we can be purified of our sin and united to God.

What are we afraid of?

Today, Christ the Savior is born for us. What are we afraid of? He came to deliver us from sin and death. What are we afraid of? He is the very author of life. What are we afraid of? He gives himself to us as the Bread of Life and the medicine of immortality. What are we afraid of?

What is most important is that we reject godless ways and worldly desires and live soberly, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is our life; let us adore him, let us live in him, let us put our trust in him.

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Fr. Joseph Levine graduated from Thomas Aquinas College and after a long journey was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles on the Columbia River.

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