What Now?

December 25, 2023; John 1:1-18; Christmas

So…it’s Christmas. Now what? The tree is trimmed. Gifts have been bought and wrapped. Cookies have been baked. We have a few more hours in which we will gather with our family and friends. Then what? Then, the tree will be taken down, gifts will be enjoyed or returned, and we will work to lose the pounds we put on from eating the cookies.

Is that it? Is Christmas merely putting up and taking down, wrapping and unwrapping, gaining weight and losing it? Today’s gospel says it is not. Today’s gospel tells us that Christmas is about the Word becoming flesh and making his dwelling among us. Christmas is about God dwelling with us. All of our Christmas decorations and customs are merely a way to mark the day on which that dwelling began.

We sometimes tell our children that Christmas is Jesus’s birthday, and it is. And like any other birthday, Christmas is worth celebrating. But we understand that when we celebrate our uncle’s birthday or our mom’s birthday or our son’s birthday, it is not really about the cake and the candles. It is about the relationship, the bond that we have with that person all year long. The same is true for Jesus. We should not confuse his birthday celebration with the relationship that it points to, with the Good News that he dwells with us always.

And that is Good News. Because if Jesus dwells with us then regardless of who we are or what we have done—whether we are old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, wise or foolish, whoever we are—Jesus will be with us to assure us that we are loved, to guide us when we are lost, to forgive us when we fail, to stand with us to face whatever the New Year might bring.

Yes, it is Christmas. What now?

Now we continue to live with the One who dwells with us.

Now we embrace the relationship that is our salvation.

Merry Christmas!

1 thought on “What Now?”

  1. I needed to read this Christmas homily and it is Good News. Having attended midnight mass at St Noel and the homily centered around the Pieta with little Good News yours was joyful to read.


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