There is more to Christmas than “just” the 25th of December.
Each new year begins with the proclamation of a number. This year we have reached the two thousandth and fourteenth year of Our Lord! That’s a long time and much has happened since Our Lord’s birth to remember and to celebrate. Fortunately, our feast days in January help to draw out the meaning of these past events. First on the 1st comes the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. This is a very old feast which celebrates God’s active and very real presence in human history. “He was born and dwelt among us.” Following soon after is the Feast of the Epiphany which celebrates the baby Jesus revealed to the whole world! That’s what the word epiphany means: a revelation of the divine. This revelation of the Light of the World is important as we enter into the darkest and coldest time of the year. We need to remember God’s promise of hope and new life. After Epiphany comes the Baptism of the Lord which marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry among us: his saving work. We then move into Ordinary Time which is not so ordinary at all. For all these days since our Lord’s birth until the present are days of wonder and awe as we live out this year of the Lord’s favor.