Lead article from the December 2017 bulletin, online now.
We have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's all within the final five weeks of the year. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring our families together and experience the blessings of the season.
First there is Thanksgiving, a day to get together, bond and give thanks for all we have. It is relatively stress-free, and you can eat great food and watch football all day. It sets the table, if you will, for Christmas inasmuch as it refocuses us on the most profound and influential things in our lives: our faith and our families.
Try as it may, the secular world, filled with its hyper-consumerism, glam and outright indifference to Christ, can never diminish our Savior from the season. We spend many stressful hours shopping, preparing, running, planning and worrying. When Christmas finally comes we find ourselves giving it up to Christ at Mass. Millions of Americans in countless communities fill our churches. God refocuses us and sets our year's end on His terms.
Even unbelievers in the secular world are compelled to take stock in their disbelief. Does Christ not cross the minds of doubters as they lay awake just having watched their children at their most happy? They know what the day is about. Does the plastic nativity scene made in China that a stressed-out father struggling in his faith plugs in the day after Thanksgiving not give him pause? What about those factory workers in China seeing them roll by the assembly line? How many of them have explored Jesus as a result of this?
These are not just rhetorical questions. I truly have not a clue, but surely God has countless ways to plant Himself in our conscience.
Every year we watch A Christmas Carol in its many incarnations. A miraculous allegory written by Charles Dickens, a self proclaimed Christian who never mentions Christ in the novelette, but for his final entry when Tiny Tim proclaims, "May God bless us, everyone." The story itself glistens with biblical references and values. Many must have been moved by this story and many others during the holiday season. I wish all Knights and their families a very merry and blessed Christmas.