Unlike Easter which has always been celebrated by the Church, the feast day of Christmas was not firmly established until the fourth century. Because the birthday of Jesus was unknown, it was decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. This would also coincide with the winter solstice festivals. The date symbolizes that Jesus is the Light of the World. In the Gospel of John 8:12 Jesus said;
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
Christmas also focuses on the two natures of Jesus Christ. He is both full divine and fully human. It states in Luke 2:9:
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid; for see…I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you; you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying;
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another;
“Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them, but Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The Word of God,
the Day whose light shines
upon the angel…
put on flesh and was born
of the the Virgin Mary.
Quote of St. Augustine; Feast day August 28
December is the Month of the Divine Infancy