By: Paul Murano – December 2012
Each year at Christmas we are reminded of the birth of a man who is by far the most influential person that ever walked the earth. Our calendar separates the pre-Christian era from the Christian era of world history. The world’s number one best selling book tells of Jesus’ story, how the invisible, almighty, eternal and infinite Creator of the universe decided to become a part of His own creation to save it, especially the creatures He made in His own image from the mess they got themselves into beginning with Adam.
He becomes the “new Adam” to save man from the misery of his own selfishness: The first Adam said no to God in the Garden of Eden, the second Adam said Yes to Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The first Adam fell at the request of the first Eve whom had been visited by a devil; the second Adam (Jesus) was inspired by the second Eve (Mary) who had been visited by an angel. The first Adam’s rejection of God brought suffering and death to mankind; the second Adam’s obedience of God brought about grace and future resurrection.
The cross of the second Adam becomes the new tree of life that man had lost access to by virtue of the first Adam’s sin. The new fruit hanging from that new tree for man to once again partake in is the body of Christ, present at each mass in the form of the Eucharist. As He said in the Gospel of John, “He who eats of flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day.”
This is the hope of Christmas: That baby in the manger conquered death so that, as His extended body, His Church may follow Him into paradise.
If people truly believed this there would be no reason to fear, to be anxious, or to remain bitter and angry at the world for its injustices. There would be no denial and rationalization caused by the self-loathing due to our sins. Hope would replace cynicism and dispair.
There is an argument to be made that we are now in the world’s third stage of history, the post-Christian era, where man attempts to replace God as the center of reality. It may have begun when the new fruit of the tree of knowledge was consumed in the birth contol pill, inaugurating the culture of death — of people (abortion, euthanasia) of families (divorce) and of nations (critical depopulation of the west).
The two fruits mentioned in Genesis’ Garden of Eden, of the tree of life and the tree of death, have reappeared in the form of the Eucharist and the pill. Here you have the major weapons of the culture war between the Church and the world, Jesus and Satan, heaven and hell.
It is only a matter of time before the secular world bans Christmas as a federal holiday, as it also had its way with making legal the practice of prenatal homicide and same-sex marriage. The baby in the manger poses too much of a threat to the false reality created by contemporary secular humanism.
In the pre-Christian era the weak and vulnerable as well as women and children were routinely used, abused, and discarded. In the post-Christian era the same patterns have re-emerged in different forms. It was only in the era when the world truly believed in Christmas, its message, and the supernatural life offered to live that message, that the light overcame the darkness.
Do wise men still seek Him? Yes, but today’s spirit of Herod that openly embraces death demands courage for them to do so.