If you're like me, you love Christmas. The carols, smells, decorations and family time is something special. But, we must never forget that Christmas is a birthday celebration. It's a celebration of when God became man in order to provide salvation for the world. But, as Catholics, we have Christmas every day in the Mass.
The Mass is an opportunity where God comes down to man again, and again, and again. He gives of himself to man in order to provide redemption and forgiveness. That's exactly what happened in Bethlehem when the Blessed Mother gave birth to the Messiah. God became man in order to provide salvation and forgiveness. St. John Chrysostom once said "how many of you say ‘I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes.' You do see Him. You touch Him. You eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him, but also to be your food and nourishment."
Within the Mass, just as within the stable in Bethlehem, Jesus becomes our everything. He becomes our source of forgiveness, our source of life, and our ability to see and experience God. Remember the Gloria we sing at Mass? It begins with the same song the angels sang the night of Jesus' birth. The Gloria begins "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will." That's the same song we hear from the angels in Luke 2:14 when they proclaim the birth of Jesus. It's no accident that we continue to proclaim that Jesus has come in the flesh to man for the forgiveness of sin. It's no accident the same song that angels sang at the birth of Jesus, when God became man, is the same song we sing at Mass – when Jesus comes down to man in the form of His body and blood in the Holy Eucharist.
When the body of the baby Jesus made its appearance into this world in a smelly and dirty stable in Bethlehem, he brought the gift of forgiveness. He became our source of salvation. When the body of Jesus is presented at Mass and offered to you, He becomes once again the source of salvation. When Jesus was born his enemies shook with fear and set out to destroy him while his followers rejoiced. When the Eucharist is present the enemies of Jesus shake with fear and set out to destroy him by destroying the Church but his followers rejoice. "Let the whole of mankind tremble and the whole earth shake when the Son of the Living God is present on the altar in the hands of a priest." (St. Francis of Assisi)
If we truly understood the power, the mystery, and what takes place on the altar during Mass – we would never miss one single opportunity to attend. The story of Christmas is a love story. It's a love story of God loving mankind so much that He would do whatever it took for man to live eternally with Him in heaven. But, the story of the Mass is the greatest of love stories. "The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen) The Eucharist is a love story. Are you listening? Do you hear Him calling you?