The Great Gift of Christmas

An offense is measured, not by the one who gives it, but by the one who receives it.  While it certainly would be wrong for anyone to strike a neighbor, it would be a much greater wrong to strike the Pope, the President, or some other prominent individual.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they offended God.  Their offense, therefore, was of infinite gravity because God is infinite.  Because the sins of Adam and Eve were infinitely grave, any atonement for them had to be of equal value.  But neither Adam nor Eve, nor any other member of the human race, could accomplish what was needed for appropriate atonement.

When Jesus Christ became man through the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He was both God and man.  Because He is God, His acts are of infinite value.  He took on human flesh, lived amongst us, and therefore could do for mankind what no other member of the human race could ever do.  He could atone for offenses against God, not only those of Adam and Eve, but those committed by each of us.  He became our Redeemer.

Until Christ took on a human nature and atoned for the sins of the human race, the gates of heaven were closed.  But He offered His suffering and death on the Cross for us.  Because He performed those acts, it became possible for every human to get to heaven.  He opened the gates of heaven.

The great gift of Christmas is that God became man and He did so in order to become man’s atoner.  This is the gift He offers to all even though most choose not to accept it.

Christmas is a wonderful time to think about God’s gifts to men.  He first gave Himself on the Cross as our Redeemer, and then He offers Himself to all in the Holy Eucharist.

It is also a wonderful time for each of us to rededicate our lives to following as best we can the path He outlined for each of us.  This is one sure way to show how much the great gift of Christmas is appreciated.  If our lives are Godly, we will one day meet our Redeemer face to face.  Then we can thank Him for His gift in the special manner only possible for those who achieve salvation.