From Fr. Frank Nash: Restoring the true meaning of Christmas
December 12, 2013
Rev. Frank Nash, S.J., Loyola’s alumni chaplain, originally sent this message to alumni in an email.
I am angry. Perhaps not the best way to start an Advent and Christmas letter. I am angry because on Oct. 15 the first Christmas shopping ads began appearing on television. I am even more angry that stores decided to open up on Thanksgiving Day. Our time to spend with family giving thanks is threatened by consumerism.
I see nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Jesus by exchanging gifts. When the gift giving takes over and becomes the focus of the season, however, I have problems. Instead of creating quiet moments to prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we rush around looking for sales or making sure that we have not forgotten anyone on our Christmas card list.
The time has come for us to take back Christmas and restore its true meaning. We proclaim the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice that God has so loved us that he sent his only son to live in our midst. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her king” should drown out the beep of cash registers. The music and candlelight in church should replace the glitter and shoving of faceless crowds looking for a bargain.
St. John, the Baptist, proclaims: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Let us do just that. Let us celebrate God’s love for us by loving one another. Let us share the good things that we have with those who are less fortunate than we. Let us go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is here.
May you and your family have a very happy and holy Christmas and may God be with you in the New Year.
Frank Nash, S.J.
P.S. Here is a wonderful video that captures the spiritual dimensions of Christmas in the midst of the secular.