Here are some thoughts about Nativity. First — our program on this Catholic Vitamin N presents Nativity not so much as warm feelings of Christmas, but also about challenge and change. Both of our guests are Catholic priests who are in love with the Lord, in love with the Church and in love with the people they minister to. They are fully aware that they are called to sacrifice — no guarantee of time off with and for good behavior. That’s part of the reason for bringing them onto this show — our call isn’t (totally) about being fuzzy and warm for the Christ child in the manger. It’s about seeing conflict and challenge as part of the reasons for Jesus’ coming among us.
Another area of consideration at this season: Father Tim Rzepiela writes in the Christian Family Movement about the idea of gifts at this time of year. He writes: “I am a gift to other persons. Am I willing to be given by the Father to others?” This has deep meaning for those of us who believe our life is just about us and how happy we are. Life is more than Jesus and me at the Mass and in my prayers and life. Fr. Tim says that “Christmas is about the gift of Jesus to all of us.” So if Christ came for all of us — how are we honoring Christ and his gift of self to my neighbor?
Here’s something that made me smile. Fr. Tim also wrote: “Some persons are gifts which come loosely wrapped; others very tightly. But the wrapping isn’t the gift.” So do we look at the person who needs food or utility assistance or a good shower as someone lazy or uneducated? Well, they may be — but that’s the wrapping — who are they inside? They are Christ’s gift to us — yes a gift to us. Just as is the person in a nursing home or our lonely neighbor who lost a spouse.
I think our gifts to the Babe in the Manger can be so much more than giving up candy for the Advent season. We can bring Him three gifts and more just as the Magi did. After prayer and discernment during Advent – it can be a new way of entering the new calendar year 2010.
Nativity starts with an N — so does Newness. Nativity might be a good Catholic Vitamin to start ‘consuming’ in these final days before the birth of the Babe in the manger. And did you know that Bethlehem means “House of Bread”? Christ came to be bread for others — and that’s what he calls you and me to be.
Guests and Show Notes for Vitamin N: Nativity
First guest: Fr. Thomas Weise. Fr. is the rector of the cathedral in Juneau and he also serves four mission churches. He can be found through the website address below — but (smile) you can look for him in a canoe or a float plane (unless it’s snowing pretty hard). You can find out more about Father, listen to his homilies and reach Father though the following link:
Second guest: Fr. Bill Nicholas. Father Bill writes and teaches about a wide variety of topics (Harry Potter, the End Times, Abortion and Slavery, etc.) You can reach Father on his own website: www.frwcnicholas.com Fr. Bill has many great columns and homilies. And he has written a book, “I Saw the World End”, published by Paulist Press. You can find information about ordering his book through his website.