Friday, December 31, 2010

Shoot, my New Year's started a long time ago!

People have been asking me, “Ryan are you excited for New Years?” …My response? “Shoot my New Years started November 28, 2010-the beginning of Advent!” As I continue to grow deeper in love with Christ Crucified, I find myself yearning to enter more deeply in the mystery of the Incarnation. How blessed are we that God humbled Himself and took the form of a human being to save us from death. Isn’t beautiful, that the same wood that was used to build Jesus Christ's first crib would be the same wood that Jesus Christ would be crucified on!?

My friend told me that he just read a questionable posting from a Catholic institution on facebook, “Now that the three kings have left, the shepherds have gone back to the flock, the presents have been accepted, and the baby is sleeping. We can enjoy the true meaning of the season, peace!”…What!? As if we can capture the full essence of a transcendent God becoming human in one night? People are back to their busy lives, going back to work, taking down their Christmas lights and decorations, rescheduling appointments, and enjoying their Christmas presents. I hope they do not forget that next to the octave of Easter, the Christmas octave (which means eight, hence the eight days of Christmas) is one of the most important periods in the Roman Catholic Church. This means that we should not just honor Christ’s birth on December 25th but there is an eight day period of celebration and rejoicing! These eight days of commemoration which ends after the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Jan 1st should be a time of awe, wonder, and thanksgiving that the savior of the world has been born.

However, to give the secular calendar homage, this year has been one of the most amazing years of my entire life. I honestly believe it was because I rang in the New Years with Jesus Christ in adoration last New Year’s Eve. If you ever have the opportunity and know of a nearby parish, I encourage you to pray before the Blessed Sacrament on New Year’s Eve! If you are anything like me, it is kind of weird in a holy way?... I am so used to fireworks, people giving each other hugs, drinking champagne, gun shots (crazy AZ) and crazy Nicaraguan women (like my mom) running down the street in suitcases, purses and pennies yelling Happy New Year’s! Yet, as the countdown begins New Year’s feels a little different. The priest raises Jesus Christ aloft, in front of us the kneeling worshippers, and blesses us for the upcoming year. No blow horns or “snaps”, no yelling or hollering. Just stillness and silence with our Blessed Lord…What a great way to start off the New Year and what a great way to end the Christmas celebration. Have a Blessed New Year’s everyone.

As always…Stay Catholic!


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