An Ox and an Ass


“The Nativity”,
Lorenzo Monaco; 1409

 

First published December 27th, 2006

 

Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?  —What Child Is This?,  Christmas Carol

 

NO retinue of guards. No legion of angels. Not even the welcome mat of the High Priests. God, incarnate in the flesh, is greeted into the world by an ox and ass.

While the early Fathers interpreted these two creatures as symbolic of the Jews and pagans, and thus all of humanity, a further interpretation came to mind at Midnight Mass.

 

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Christmas Myrrh

 

IMAGINE it’s Christmas morning, your spouse leans over with a smile and says, "Here. This is for you." You unwrap the gift and find a small wooden box. You open it and a waft of perfume rises from little resin chunks.

"What is it?" you ask.

"It’s myrrh. It was used in ancient times for embalming a corpse and burning as an incense at funerals. I thought it would be great at your wake some day."

"Uh… thanks… thanks dear."

 

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Christ in You

 

 

First Published December 22nd, 2005

 

I HAD many little things to do today in preparation for Christmas. As I passed people—the cashier at the till, the guy filling up with gas, the courier at the bus stop—I felt drawn to their presence. I smiled, I said hello, I chatted with strangers. As I did, something marvelous began to happen.

Christ was looking back at me.

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An Interview on the End Times

 

ARE we truly living in the "end times"? This is the question Salt + Light Television host Pedro Guevara Mann puts to EHTV’s Mark Mallett in a blunt and compelling interview from a Catholic viewpoint. Mark answers the questions many of us are asking, putting the question of the "end times" into perspective without overlooking the dramatic signs of our day. This is the interview that took place in Toronto for the October 15th edition of S + L’s Perspectives.

To watch An Interview on the End Times,
go to www.embracinghope.tv

 

 

The Second Coming

 

FROM a reader:

There is so much confusion regarding the “second coming” of Jesus. Some call it the “Eucharistic reign”, namely His Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Others, the actual physical presence of Jesus reigning in the flesh. What is your opinion on this? I am confused…

 

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What is Truth?

 

WHAT is truth? That was the question Pontius Pilate posed after Jesus said to him:

For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. (John 18:37)

Pilate’s question is the turning point, the hinge on which the door to Christ’s final passion was to be opened. Until that point, Pilate resisted handing Jesus over to death. But after Jesus identified Himself as the source of truth, Pilate caves into the pressure—to the alternate "truths" about the Lord—and decides to leave Christ’s fate to the people. Pilate washed his hands of Truth itself.

If the body of Christ is to follow its Head in its own passion, what the Catechism calls "a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers" (CCC 675), then we too will see a time when our persecutors will ask "What is truth?"  When the world will also wash its hands of the "sacrament of truth," the Church itself.

Tell me brothers and sisters, has this not already begun to be the case in our day?

 

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