Dear Friends in Christ,
The question has often come to me: Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25? This is very good question considering some theologians, after analyzing the scriptures, have thought that there is good support that Jesus was born in springtime (April 17 is the date that a lot of people believe). Jesus’ Nativity is celebrated on December 25 because of the symbolism of this date and for the transformation of a pagan world into Christianity.
On December 21, the pagan world always celebrated the winter solstice. However, the day was typically celebrated not on the actual day but several days afterward on the 25th. The winter solstice is the darkest day of the year. On that day, the earth is the farthest from the sun and the is the shortest day of the year. For a world that did not have the technologies and use of calendars as we do today, it would always take the people longer to realize that the days were getting longer. On average, the day when most people noticed was December 25th. Therefore, the pagans celebrated the winter solstice after it had happened to thank the gods and nature for the promise of the spring to come.
With the emergence of Christianity, the world found a new reason to rejoice. Jesus Christ is the full revelation of our heavenly Father and He is the true light that enters into our darkened world. Our hope is just not based on a seasonal change but Jesus Christ’s Advent brings a new springtime to the human race. Because Jesus came into the world, He have us a rebirth. The old human existence that was distorted by the fall of Adam and Eve is now restored to full life in Jesus Christ and His sacraments, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit through those sacraments.
My dear parishioners, I wish to extend to all of you my prayers and hopes that you will all have a beautiful and blessed Christmas. May Christ, who is the Light of World, bring peace and happiness to you and your families. I thank all of you for being a part of St. Mary’s and St. Aloysius’ Catholic community. I hope that the coming year will bring you all spiritual blessings and graces, unity in your families and church, and a great interior joy as you live out your Catholic faith.
May God give you peace,