I came across this here and here.
God bless Fr. Corapi:
“Be Thankful For The Bread Of Life Who Was Laid In A Manger”
Another Christmas is here. I don’t know about you, but with each passing season I think more of my mortality, and wonder how many Christmas days or any days are left in my allotted time in this life. One of the greatest sorrows, I believe, is to have missed opportunities, to have wasted time. When we think of the unfathomable gift of God’s only Son given to us as a Gift surpassing all gifts, we have to take a moment or two to be thankful. Some days it’s more difficult to be thankful than others. Every November I speak and/or write about our American holiday of Thanksgiving, reminding myself and others of the need to be thankful. Then a few weeks later along comes Christmas. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is laid in a manger (a place where food is placed by higher creatures for lower creatures). Mary, the Mother of the Eucharist, performs this sacred act. It all takes place in Bethlehem, a word that means “House of Bread.”Eucharist is a word that basically means “thanksgiving” or “to give thanks.” So, every year after Thanksgiving I recall that the ultimate thanks to the Father is Jesus in the Eucharist. This miracle of thanksgiving is foreshadowed in a mysterious way at Christmas when the Mother of Thanksgiving (the Eucharist) lays her only Son (the Bread of Life) in a manger (place where food is set) in the House of Bread (Bethlehem).
For a sad and somewhat mysterious reason an incredible amount of sadness and depression descends upon no small number of people during the holidays. I don’t know if it’s the Devil’s revenge, or just a natural emotional response of millions of people who once knew the warmth of a family and traditional values, but now feel isolated, desolate, lonely, and alienated. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the fragments of broken families are strewn far and wide over the landscape of modern society. We do the best we can, but even I have to admit the holidays are a challenge. Some years I have to consciously and strenuously ignore the secular facet of the holidays and look only at the religious and spiritual. You might say that’s what we expect of a priest. You wouldn’t be wrong, but you have to remember priests are just as human as anyone else.
This year, for the first time in ten years, I will celebrate Christmas without old Sage, my loyal and loving Chesapeake Bay Retriever. There will be one red bow less to put on dogs’ collars, and the empty space in the house and around the house still aches without his presence. Yet, we give thanks for all things great and small, for all creatures great and small, for all blessings and gifts, great and small. Especially we thank God our Father for the greatest gift of all–the gift of His only Son, Jesus in the Eucharist. Emmanuel, God is with us, at Christmas, and forever.
God Bless You,
Father John Corapi, SOLTP.S.