SERMON : Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love

Hamilton Wright Mabie, the American author, is widely quoted for having said the above interesting phrase; blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. And many of his readers do think that he meant such famous seasons as Christmas which gather the whole world, Christian and non Christian alike into a huge joyous mood of celebration. 

Hamilton Wright Mabie, the American author, is widely quoted for having said the above interesting phrase; blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. 

And many of his readers do think that he meant such famous seasons as Christmas which gather the whole world, Christian and non Christian alike into a huge joyous mood of celebration.

If that is truly what the author meant, then this phrase means much more in the minds of theologians. For them, such a season is not only blessed but blessed as well is mankind because of that very season such as Christmas.

In a particular way, Christmas as a season is an occasion which ‘adds value’ on the standard of mankind, because due to it, man became a friend of God and must continue to feel the most blessed of all God’s creation.

Unfortunately, not all men feel it that way. Some do not think that the birth of Jesus some two thousand years ago still makes much difference in their personal lives today.

Such people may stop at viewing the season or the feast itself from its commercial point of view as far as shopping and feasting are concerned.

Hoffer the philosopher thought that such a way of thinking is very natural to man, and he was of the view that the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

This philosopher is right because from our own experience, most of us tend to dwell more on our misfortunes than on our luck or blessings in life.

For the people who fall in the latter category, Christmas should be an exception taken as an occasion to make a change in their life.

Here is a time when all should feel loved by their God. It is a time to experience the unconditional love of God for man, without any kind of discrimination.

In his book Discovering the Laws of Life, John Marks Templeton gives us another reason why we should be counted among those actively celebrating the Christmas blessings, because of its healing effects: “Counting our blessings can transform melancholy into cheerful mass; laughter and joy are expressions of praise and thanksgiving for life’s glories.”

Here the author is advising us to prepare ourselves in such a way that when Christmas comes, we are ready to add it on the list of our self transforming blessings in our life.

It is a day when we should feel loved by God in a way void of any possibility of betrayal.  It is a day when we should feel joyful and attracting others into the same joy.

It is an occasion to feel gratitude for our experiences in the past especially where we feel that we have been walking with our creator. It is a day when we should give a smile to all people we meet, and of course attracting many more smiles.

Celebrating Christmas should not be complicated, because it is not in what we do, but rather in letting it happen to us.

Unfortunately, even then, we might prefer to shut our ears and eyes.  Seneca, one of the greatest Latin authors thinks that it can happen that way: The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach; but we shut our eyes and ears, and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for, without finding it.

If you want to take this Christmas celebration both easy and serious, remember that it is essentially a celebration of the divine friendship between God and man.

We can take it as a great friendship day, when we appreciate our friendship with God and his people.

And in fact any true friendship is divine and undoubtedly, one of the greatest blessings that one can receive in a lifetime.

It is amazing to note that in the liturgy of the last Sunday of Advent a few days before Christmas, the Church proposes us to meditate on the first Christmas with the reflection on the friendship between Mary the Mother of God and Elizabeth her close relative and friend.

The Bible tells us that it was the Angel Gabriel himself, who advised Mary to go and visit Elizabeth, so that she could meditate more on her mission in a friendly atmosphere.

(Lk. 1:36)  And this happened shortly after the Incarnation of the Word of God in Mary. Christmas gives us a mission of celebrating and of proclaiming the Christian faith.

It is both a celebration and mission of all Christians as a community of believers together as brothers and sisters and therefore centred on the friendship between God and his people and between the believers as a sign of their unity in their Saviour.

When Christmas approaches, the town dwellers teach us the same lesson as they go back to their families in order to engage the whole of their extended families in a conspiracy of love. And that is what the celebration of Christmas is all about.  

Ends

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