• The Prophecies Behind the Christmas Story: Of Magi and St. Matthew’s Gospel

    If I say to you, “May the force be with you,” you’re likely to think about Luke Skywalker and the Star Wars movies. But someone unfamiliar with those films will have no idea what I’m talking about. Similarly, if you hear people at the start of a baseball game sing, “O say, can you... Read more
  • Christmas and Resurrection

    We don’t often associate Christmas with resurrection. But we should. So let’s start by talking about Santa Claus. Christmas is openly under attack in contemporary society where the word has essentially been banned in favor of “holiday” and traditional Christmas carols have been replaced... Read more
  • Rejoicing in Christmas: How to Celebrate Fully the 12 Days

    For families, there can be temptation at Christmastime to pack everything into Advent — both the preparation and celebration crammed into a season meant for peaceful anticipation. This is actually a distortion of the liturgical year, in which the celebration of the birth of Jesus... Read more
  • A Meditation on the Bloody Octave of Christmas

    Many are shocked to walk into daily Mass on December 26 and instead of hearing more of the “Baby Jesus” we are confronted with Martyrdom, “The Feast of Stephen” is ancient on the Church’s calendar. More ancient than the Christmas cycle and hence it was not removed to another... Read more
  • The Nativity is the Liberation of Love

    In this Fourth Week of Advent, we are very close to Christ­mas and to the Birth of the Baby. The Church tries to show us in this time that, on the one hand, Jesus is in continuity with God’s plan in the Old Testament and brings those plans to completion while, on the other hand, Jesus breaks... Read more
  • The Christmas liturgy takes us to the center of time

    Even if the celebration of many Masses on the same Sunday may be an ordinary experience for many parish priests too often, Christmas, with its three distinct Mass settings for three different times of the day, remains a unique liturgical occasion. In the middle of the night, a great light... Read more
  • Refuting the ‘Pagan Roots of Christmas’ Claim

    ONE OF THE FIRST SHOWS about Christmas I watched as a kid was A Charlie Brown Christmas. I haven’t watched it in years, but I haven’t forgotten the culminating scene where Charlie Brown shouts above the noise to demand an answer to a question he’s struggling with: What is Christmas... Read more
  • Journey From Advent to Christmas With Mary

    When we imagine Mary making the journey to Bethlehem, we think of her as waiting for the Christ child. But she wasn’t waiting for Him. She was the only person who wasn’t waiting anymore. Yes, she was waiting for His birth, but she already knew Him. And not only did she know Him, but she knew... Read more
  • Advent: The Return of the King

    I always wonder what the priest is going to do at Mass on the third Tuesday of Advent. On this day, every priest is faced with a most daunting Advent task: to preach on the long genealogy of Jesus at the opening of Matthew’s Gospel (1:1-17). This is the marathon of all biblical... Read more
  • The profound symbolism of violet and rose in Advent

    Advent is a special time of preparation in the liturgical year, focusing our hearts on the celebration of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem as well as looking forward to when Jesus will come again. To remind us of these and many other spiritual truths, the Church has chosen the color violet to be the... Read more