By BISHOP LUIS R. ZARAMA, Commentary | Published December 22, 2011
In late October, stores began putting out their Christmas merchandise, and by mid-November Christmas commercials could be heard.
Beginning early on in the season, we are bombarded with commercials that invite us to spend our money with promises of a Merry Christmas. The world focuses on consumption and consumerism in hopes that all of the spending will help the economy recover.
Who would have thought that Christmas would be responsible for the recovery of the economy?
We have lost focus of the true meaning of Christmas in which the manger, the Good News of the birth of the baby Jesus, the reality of that family from Nazareth, are secondary to an endless number of receipts from our shopping and debts on our credit cards.
The Inn was full for Mary and Joseph just as our lives are full for the Good News of love.
The Good News can only find a place in a heart that is open to receive it as the manger received God made man, a heart that has the willingness to share the Good News with men of good will.
The heart must immerse itself in love in order to become a bearer of the Good News of the love of Jesus in our lives.
Christmas is a season in our faith that invites us to celebrate the values that are the foundation of all societies: family and life. What a plan God had for his only Son. God in his infinite wisdom chose the family from Nazareth, to celebrate the gift of Life—the life of the baby Jesus. What a treasure and how dignified—family and life, the foundation and base of all societies.
May we leave behind our worldly cares, halt our spending, and turn our sights to our family and the gift of life that each of us enjoys.
Let us celebrate the Good News of God made man with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Let us share our love and open our hearts to love our neighbor.
Let us celebrate the Mystery of Life in thanksgiving for all those whom the Lord has placed in our families, for our friends, and for our jobs.
The gift of Christmas needs neither credit cards nor money—it needs only a heart in which the love of God can remain and from there be shared with others.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year filled with the Lord’s blessings.