April 4, 2010
Christmas and Easter feast are both important occasion in a Catholic or Christian life. These two feasts are the fulfillment and conclusion of God’s saving love.The fulfillment of the Scripture.
“And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” This was the spirit of Christmas. The divine promise was fulfilled on Christmas day. God has sent the Messiah, His only begotten Son. But the birth of Jesus is not the end of the promise. The chalice is waiting. The son of man has nowhere to rest. He is destined to suffer and die, His blood has to be spilled to wash away our sins. Thus the Holy Week was set to commemorate God’s great love for mankind.
Aside from the gift of salvation during this time Jesus also gave us one of the most important sacrament. The Sacrament Of the Eucharist. This Sacrament is the center or summit of our Catholic Worship. During the last supper Jesus broke the bread gave it to his disciples and said “take this all of you and eat it this is my body”. When supper was ended he took the cup… gave it to his disciples and said take this and drink from it… this is my blood… which will be shed for you and for all so that sins maybe forgiven.” And He concluded by saying “… Do this in memory of me.” This is the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Mystery when the bread and wine is transformed into the real flesh and blood of Jesus. Thus it is important that we give high regard for the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is important that we give our highest respect as we receive the holy Host for Jesus himself said that this is his body. The Sacrament of the Eucharist was not made by men for God, but was made by God for men. It is our communion with Jesus.
Now then, What is more important among the two feasts? Christmas day or Easter day? As we have said while ago both are important, but Easter day seems to be more important. Easter day is the fulfillment of the prophecy, the conclusion of the promise of salvation. The birth of Jesus would be useless and meaningless if he did not suffer and died on the cross. But His birth, suffering and death would be useless if He did not rise from the dead. His resurrection is God’s victory over evil, God’s victory over death, victory over sin and salvation of mankind. Easter Sunday is a new day, it is a new day for mankind. As Jesus has won over death so as men was born again as people of Easter day. By the death of Jesus, our sinfulness died and by his resurrection, we are resurrected as new children of God. We are freed from living in sin and darkness now let us follow the path of the light Jesus has shown us.
Christmas day is like a plain document, not valid without seal. But Easter day was the seal of the document. With Easter day, God’s promise of salvation to mankind was sealed and fulfilled.
Today Christmas day is more popular. One priest commented that this maybe because Christmas is easier to commercialize. While the Holy Week was often times forgotten by many. Many only knew this week as a week for fun, a week for vacation. Most of the time people would prefer to go on vacation and enjoy, eat, drink, dance etc. instead of meditating on the mysteries of our salvation. Let us remember that during this season as we laugh and merry-make , more than 2000 years ago Jesus was crying in agony, as we eat bountiful food, Jesus was starving, as we drink, Jesus thirst, as we dance, Jesus was trembling as he carry the heavy cross, as we enjoy the beach, Jesus was struggling on the cobble stones on his way to Calvary, as we reach the peak of our fun and merry making Jesus gave up his life for us.
Let us not forget this great and unconditional love of Jesus for us. He has successfully delivered the gift of salvation. How are we going to respond on it. Are we ready to receive it? Let us receive the gift of Easter day as we live our lives as newly resurrected children of God, not only during the Lenten season but all the days of our lives.
As we celebrate Christmas day with great joy, let us celebrate Easter Day with even greater Joy. On Christmas day man was given a seed, and on Easter Day that seed has grown to its fullest, it had given bloom to wonderful flowers which turned to sweet fruits.
May the Peace and Blessing of the risen Christ be with us, our families and friends all the days of our lives.
Note: this just a personal reflection, fellow Catholics and Christians may have varied and different interpretations and understanding.