The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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6th Day within the Octave of Christmas

Date: 
Wed, 12/30/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Today is the 6th day in the octave of Christmas.
In the Catholic Church we celebrate the Feast of the Birth of Jesus for 8 days.
We leave our Christmas decorations, our trees and lights and crèches up through this time.
This eight-day celebration has its roots in the Scriptures.
Two great OT feasts:  the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple
went on for eight days.
The day of Jesus’ Resurrection was considered the 8th day of the week in the early church.
The 8th day also referred to the time following the 2nd coming of Christ….
the time of “new creation” which is beyond time.
Because of such influences
early Christian baptisteries and tombs were shaped as octagons.
 
With this octave, the Church exemplifies the proper observance of Christmas.
The Word of God appeared in time, became flesh, and took on our human nature.
This mystery cannot be given its just due in one day.
For eight days we contemplate, think about, and reflect upon
what the Incarnation means.
It is a time to enjoy and savor….
a time to be humble before this great mystery of our faith.
 
Anna the prophetess gives thanks to God
as she beholds the child Jesus.
She waited patiently for many years in prayer and fasting.
She is aware that he is the Anointed One, the Salvation of God’s people.
She expresses gratitude and shares the good news.
The time of waiting has been fulfilled.  God’s redemption is at hand.
The mighty Lord has heard the appeal of the people, their cry for help.
This child is the promised Messiah….of the house of David.
The power and authority of God is with him.  He is filled with God’s Spirit.
He is the strength and protection and the glory of God come into this world.
He is the wise and righteous ruler who brings liberation.
In and through this child a new age has dawned.
 
We know, we believe:  this Messiah, Jesus Christ, fulfilled his mission,
but not through military conquest or political power as was originally expected.
He did so through ministry and service….he did so through love and sacrifice.
He did so through his suffering, his passion, his death, and his resurrection.
He has freed us from the dominion of evil, the dominion of sin and death
and brings us under his lordship.
He brings us to a new way of life, a life shaped by His example and by his Spirit.
In Him, we are a new creation.
Our lives belong to Him and he unites us in the community of faith.
In Him we are one body.  And according to His command,
we accept the mission to continue His work.
 
“O Lord, deepen our understanding of Your Son as our Savior. 
May our celebration of His birth fill us with gratitude and joy
and strengthen our baptismal commitment to discipleship.  Amen!”