Has the Grinch really stolen Christmas? The success of Christmas is now measured by sales figures from retail stores and online. The Christmas season no longer begins with the First Sunday of Advent, it begins with Black Friday. So, do we really need Christmas?
The answer is yes. We need Christmas because we can’t see the invisible. We are sentient beings. Our five senses are our measure of reality. How do you know that your spouse loves you? He or she shows love through words and actions. As Liza Doolittle says to her erstwhile suitor in My Fair Lady…”show me!”
We need signs to assure us of that which we cannot see. Sacraments are a visible sign of the invisible working of the Holy Spirit. Checks are a visible sign of money in the bank.
St. Philip expressed the desire we all feel when he asked “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus responded “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:8-9
Christmas is a sign of God’s immeasurable love for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16
Do we really need Christmas? Of course we do. Not for the gifts we exchange with family and friends, but for the gift of God’s Son the visible sign of God’s love for us.
So let us not be blinded from the reality of Christmas by all the razzle-dazzle of commercialism but remember how God showed his love for the world and for each of us.