"What comparison can I use to describe this breed? They are like children." —Matthew 11:16
The consumer Christmas is primarily for kids. To market products using pictures of children is good business. Christ's Christmas, however, is primarily for adults. The true message of Christmas is partly beyond a child's ability to understand. Christmas means self-sacrifice, poverty, rejection, martyrdom, and love. This is hardly "kids' stuff."
Therefore, to fully celebrate Christmas, we must repent of our "childish ways" (see 1 Cor 13:11). In today's Gospel, Jesus gives us a picture of spoiled, self-centered children (Mt 11:16). Even as adults, many of us still need to repent of self-centeredness. We must also repent of childish immaturity and confusion. "Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather, let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ the Head" (Eph 4:14-15).
The Lord doesn't want "baby Christians" to stay babies or even to grow only to childhood (see 1 Cor 3:1). Therefore, "grow rather in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pt 3:18). The Lord calls us to become Christ-centered, mature adults. Christmas is especially appreciated by these "grown-up" Christians.
Prayer: Father, I know that You, like all parents, rejoice to see Your children grow. May I make You happy.
Promise: "I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." —Is 48:17-18
Praise: Because of St. Juan Diego's obedience, countless lives of babies were spared.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Leading Your Loved Ones to Christ, or our audio AV 42-3 or video V-42.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011
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