Greetings and Salutations
I’m Robert Wiessinger. I’ve been volunteering at St. Anthony’s for a couple of years now as a Host. Now I’m trying my hand as a Reflection Contributor. I have spent hours and hours ruminating over Scripture passages and Catechism sections to make my first contribution spectacularly profound. In a moment of mindlessly browsing my Facebook page, someone I went to High School with shared an article titled “Biblical Evidence Jesus Christ wasn’t born on December 25th”. I had been watching the news, being bombarded by Holiday Sale ads. My first reaction was gratitude to see something about the real reason we celebrate this time of year.
I began to read the article, the tenor of the article quickly slid into how we have been duped into celebrating Christ’s birth with fake timing. I stopped reading. I thought, “Isn’t there enough divisiveness in the world today? Divisions in world views, politics, socio-economic even interpersonal; do we really need to split hairs on exactly what day was Jesus was born?” I presume there is benefit to precision; however, do we really need to quibble about the precise day Jesus arrived in our world? The point is He did. He lived among us and like us so we could become like Him. Therefore, would it not be better at this time of year if we focus more on what we have in common than our differences.
Even the most brazen commercial aspects of secularism this time of focus on caring for each other (even if it’s only to give the perfect thing as a gift). If we can find what disparate individuals have in common and get to know a little bit about each other, that equals mutual benefit. If one listens to another’s’ point of view, one might learn something, or minimally not escalate a situation unnecessarily. Divisions are always going to be with us. So if we can live with that fact, we may find some peace.
Whether one is focused on Advent as a profoundly religious experience or simply a secular preparation for social gatherings, we are focused on enjoyment of togetherness. This circles back to my thought, “Really, what does it matter if Jesus was born exactly on December 25th or not?” Being profoundly faithful or completely oblivious to any underlining meaning to why this time of year is special, it is. I have discovered if someone wishes me Merry Christmas or simply expresses Happy Holidays, that person is acknowledging something special about this time of year, regardless of the meaning, let alone a precise day for that meaning. If I can stop focusing on divisions, even if only inside my own head, there is less divisiveness in the world. If lessening divisiveness or finding the lowest common denominator in any or every equation leads only one person to become a minuscule more Christ-like, that could be spectacularly profound.