I was walking through the mall a couple of weeks ago and lo and behold, there it was... the huge tree in the middle of the courtyard. It was decorated with lights, big red bows and large gold balls. Around the tree were animated reindeer and brightly colored packages, oh it was festive. What disturbed me was that it was 80 degrees outside and did I mention it was October?
Once again I was taken aback by the greed of the secular industry and the gullibility of the consumer. I was also saddened by the fact that by the time Jesus' birthday does roll around His followers will be so weary of the "holy-day" sights He will have been forgotten on day 2 of our Liturgical Christmas season if He hasn't been shoved to the back of the celebratory calendar already. Need I remind everyone this is a time of Thanksgiving, it's not Christmas yet!
I told the kids the other day we would be focusing on Thanksgiving the next few weeks, so everyday we would say or write about something we are thankful for. Interestingly a facebook friend posted this same thought on her page, to offer something everyday that one was thankful for. What a challenge.
Historicallly, the Israelites would go up to Jerusalem every year at the Fall Harvest and offer their first fruits and harvest to God in thanksgiving for all their gifts given them from God. They would live in tents to remind them of the time they lived in tents in the desert after leaving Egypt. This festival is called the Festival of Booths. This festival lasted seven days and culminated on the Sabbath. It was this festival that was going on when the disciples saw Jesus in the Transfiguration and they offered to build a booth for Elijah and Moses, remember?
The word eucharist means thanksgiving. In the Mass we give praise and thanksgiving to God for His Son given to us in Holy Eucharist. It is this breaking of bread that makes us one in Christ and we literally become the Body of Christ. As Church we have so much to be thankful for, first and foremost, Christ Himself. Let's not shortchange Him by not paying Him homage and giving Him his due at the true Christmas season. This season begins on December 25th and lasts until Jan 6th. Presently we are closing out our liturgical year with Ordinary Time. We will begin a new liturgical year on November 29th with Advent as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.