God's Perfect Plan!
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” ( Isaiah 9:6-7).
Christmas is almost here! This beautiful season begins with the celebration of the miracle birth of the Savior of the world on Dec. 25. The season continues until the Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas, celebrated this year on Jan. 7, 2018, and the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord on Jan. 8, which brings an end to the Christmas Season.
Traditionally, the season continued until the feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)—Feb. 2, a full 40 days after Christmas. In 1969, the liturgical calendar was revised with the liturgical season of Christmas ending with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and the season known as Ordinary Time begins the next day. The last days of the Christmas Season also have great significance. We honor the kingship of the young Messiah, revealed as the light of the nations, and recall Our Lord’s Baptism, which takes on the importance of a second creation, where the entire Trinity intercedes.
My son and daughter-in-law inherited a beautiful hand-crafted nativity set from their Grandma Mary. Upon opening the box they realized that the baby Jesus was missing. I found an appropriate replacement at a ceramic shop, and prepared for the challenge of painting this tiny face that beholds such mighty power!
I was listening to the news as I started my important project; the anchorman was reporting about legislation in the state of Washington. A proposal is being considered that would provide a third gender option marked with an X on birth certificates. This would legally allow parents an opportunity to assign the gender of their choosing to their newborn child at some point in the future. The states of Oregon and California already allow non-binary birth certificates.
Psalm 139:13-14 reads, “You formed my inmost being, you knit me in my mothers womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made, wonderful are your works!” It is well-defined in Scripture that God makes no mistakes. Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God – as male or female. The value system in our society is rapidly changing, and we should all be very concerned. We need to share our Scripture knowledge and Church teaching with those who do not understand, and with those who choose to dismiss God as the Creator of life.
The best gifts you can give your children, grandchildren, family, friends and neighbors during these 40 days of the Christmas Season are truth and a reminder of how much God loves them. Our purpose in life is to honor and serve God, not alter His plan for us. There is always hope in disparaging times when we trust in the mercy of God. His grace is offered freely in the Sacraments to strengthen us.
Pray for the gift of wisdom and knowledge, so that as Catholics we may be able to share real truth with those who live in darkness. Let the “Light of Christ” shine in you, so that others may be enlightened during this Christmas Season.
God bless your New Year with the best gift ever given – The Prince of Peace! God’s perfect plan! Amen!