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Dec. 31: Day by Day with Father Bill

THE SEVENTH DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS

-From Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s book, Who Do You Say I Am? Daily Reflections
 
For us as Catholics, the heart of Christmas is the Mass. Even the name of the holiday – Christ-Mass – implies the centrality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on this radiant feast of the Nativity of the Lord. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Hebrew for House of Bread. Thus, on his birthday, we approach the Eucharist to receive the bread of life in Holy Communion. In the baby Jesus, the divine was hidden within the tender, innocent, humble human nature of an infant. So in the Holy Eucharist, the divine is hidden under the simple, routine, natural elements of bread and wine. That first Christmas, God the Son assumed flesh and blood. At every Mass, Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul and divinity – comes into our midst on the altar, into our souls. In a way, every celebration of the Eucharist is Christmas again as Jesus comes to us in the Blessed Sacrament. The tree, lights, carols, gifts, family, friends, cookies, and dinner are all cherished Christmas traditions. But the greatest custom of all is Mass [celebrated during the whole Christmas Season.]
 
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