Christmas and the Passion of Christ

Today, Christmas falls on a Friday. When I realized that my family would be praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary today, I felt hesitant. Couldn’t we pray the joyful instead? Why should we meditate on Christ’s Passion and death on His Birthday?

Yet, suffering and Christmas go hand in hand. Recall the hymn, “What Child is This” has a line which says:

“Nails, spears shall pierce him through, the cross he bore for me, for you.”

Likewise, the Filipino word for Christmas is “Pasko,” is literally translated as “Paschal.” The Pascal mystery is the Passion , death and ressurection of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is intrinsically linked to His Paschal mystery because this what He came for. This is why He left the glory of heaven, becoming a baby in a manger on a cold December Eve. He came to save us from our sins. And He saved us through His suffering, death and ressurection.

Through the Sacraments we now participate in Christ’s Divine life. Hence, the Paschal mystery is also lived out in our own lives.

As we prayed the rosary, I felt a sense of peace, even joy! Joy in the midst of suffering? Christ came that we might have His joy and our joy may be complete. All true joy can only come at the price of great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater our capacity for true joy. The wider and emptier the cup, the more it can be filled.

As the Christmas season continues, let us strive to carry our crosses and empty our cups, so that Christ’s Divine life may truly be born and grow in us!

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Lord Jesus! 😀

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