Christmas is a festival of light, of the light of the world who came into the world and that the darkness could never put it out. It was a festival of light in ancient Rome, the Saturnalia (or Lupercalia as it was often called). But its roots are much deeper in human history.
Humans had figured out long before they kept any records that this was the day when there was a little more light in the sky, winter as bad as it is, had not won, darkness was fading and light was returning. So it is not an accident that the early Christians decided that it was a perfect time to celebrate the coming of he true light of the world, of which the sun was only a pale symbol for all its mighty power and our utter dependence on it.
Hence in the three masses of Christmas there are twenty references to light.
Once there was a little girl named Henrietta, Hety for short. She hated Christmas.
There was too much noise, too much disorder, too much excitement.
She didnt like the Christmas tree lights which often didnt work, she didnt like the mess of Christmas wrappings all around the floor, she didnt exactly like all the Christmas carols, or the snow and mud tramped into the house and, or the disappointment with the Christmas presents, even though she usually received all she had asked for or that her parents and brothers and sisters lost their tempers very quickly (Hety never lost her temper, well not very often anyhow.).
Why, she demanded, did Jesus have to come at Christmas time.
Couldnt he chosen a day when everyone is more relaxed? Why did he not come a time when it was easy to pray and not a time when everyone was running around like crazy people. But, her mother said, Hety, Christmas means Christ Mass, the Mass on Our Lords birthday?
Oh, said Hety pondering this truth.
Well, she said OK, but then why does it have to be during the holidays. Her mother admitted that it was a very good question.
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