The end of the Christmas season is fast approaching, but the Incarnation is a mystery that we should contemplate all year. The Gospels of the Christmas liturgies are a beautiful way to help us do this, so let’s take a look at each of them in turn as a way to keep the Incarnation in our hearts as we prepare to return to Ordinary Time.
Some of the most splendid preaching in the Catholic tradition has occurred during the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Here we provided excerpts from the seasonal sermons of three exceptional preachers and Christian witnesses: St. John Newman, Fr. Alfred Delp, and St. Oscar Romero.
These sermons were the subject of the Church Life Today episode entitled “The Three Wisemen.”
Editorial Note: This excerpt is taken from an essay by the same name originally published at Church Life Journal on December 28, 2016.
At Christmas, [the] love and the gravitational pull of my heart toward little ones seasonally intensifies. And every year, the fact that our Lord came to earth not as an adult but as a helpless, innocent, dependent little one who needed the arms of his mother Mary and his foster-father Joseph repeatedly stuns me.
But the Feast of the Holy Innocents is not warm and fuzzy.
The infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke contain some of the most cherished passages in all of Scripture. These stories have influenced everything from sacred art to modern pop culture, inspiring the imagination of all who read them. What we might not expect, however, is that the infancy narratives are not merely about the baby Jesus. As we prepare our hearts to hear these familiar stories this Christmas, we would do well to remember that the infancy narratives are also about our hope in the crucified and risen Jesus.
I was recently invited to be a guest on Church Life Today, the McGrath Institute’s radio program and podcast, where I chatted with my colleague and show host Lenny DeLorenzo about Advent music and Christmas movies. Here is my personal list (emphasis on personal!) of 25 films that I watch nearly every holiday season. For the most part, I’ve ranked them in an order that contains a sort of ‘progressive solemnity’—moving from vaguely holiday-adjacent movies toward those that delve deeply into ‘the meaning of Christmas.’