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The True Meaning of Christmas

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by Roland Trujillo

   Seeking is very important. The wise men followed a star, seeking the Christ Child. The shepherds sought the baby Jesus after having been given a hint by the angels (“you will find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger”).

   Jesus’ mother sought for Jesus, and found Him in the temple (at which point He said, “don’t you know I must be about my Father’s business?”)

   The centurion whose daughter was sick came to seek Jesus, and when he found Him, the daughter was healed. Jesus told parables involving seeking: where, for example, the master came back and sought the servant, where the prodigal son sought his father, where the bridesmaids sought the bride, or where the shepherd sought the lost sheep. When Jesus was killed, Mary and Martha came to seek Him, but He was risen. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: “seek and ye shall find.” Time and again, the process of seeking is important.

   Today we must also seek for Jesus. The shallowness of consumerism at Christmas time should not trouble us. It simply means that He is not to be found there. When our religious, moral or political leaders are revealed to be opportunists or frauds, it should not trouble us. It only means He is not to be found there. When their words are shallow, it means he is not to be found there. Thus it is revealed where there is no use looking for Him.

   But He is here. He said wherever two or more are “gathered in my name, there am I among them.” But I don’t think we know what the phrase “in my name” really means. He also said that the Kingdom of Heaven is all around us, but we fail to see it. He also said the Kingdom of Heaven is within. He said words to the effect that “if you love me and obey my commandments, then the Father and I will come and make our abode in you.”

   He said that in the last days people would say, “He is here or He is there,” but He would not be found there. He is not where most people expect Him to be.

   Little children love Santa Claus or love their dolly. This love is beautiful and sweet, but it is an emotional thing. Alas, many of us have had feelings for Jesus in the same way.

    In human terms, the meaning of Christmas may be about giving, about sharing or about family. This is fine as far as it goes. The presents, the friendship, the Christmas stockings, the Christmas story, the music and the candles are nice and they have their place. But the true seeker keeps seeking. Without rejecting the niceties of Christmas, the seeker keeps searching for the real Jesus, that’s all.   

   Therefore, if you have a sense that the true meaning of Christmas is lacking, you are probably right. If you feel like something is still missing and you haven’t really found Him--even though you may have said you have and want to have--then keep searching. That is what He told us to do. Seeking is very important.