January 30, 2023
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Christmas A GIFT FROM GOD

By Rev. Ruben Diaz

You should know that during this time of year America and much of the world are celebrating Christmas in honor of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

The celebration of Christmas began when the Roman Emperor, Flavius Valerius Constantine converted to Christianity. He did so in gratitude to God for giving him the victory over the Roman General Maxentius, in the battle known as “The Battle of the Milvian Bridge” in the year 312 (AD).

History says that, prior to going into Battle, Constantine had a vision of a Cross which appeared in the sky. This vision also had the phrase in Latin “Hoc Signe Vencis”, which means “Under this Sign (meaning the cross) You Shall Conquer”. As a result of this celestial vision, and his victory in battle, Emperor Constantine, declared Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Later, in the year 337 AD, Pope Julius I, decreed December 25th as the day that Jesus Christ was born.

To this day the world celebrates this date as “Christmas.” The Pope would celebrate a Mass to honor the Birth of Christ. That mass was called “Christ Mass” and later it became “Christmas”.

It is important for you to know that according to the Holy Scriptures, many miracles occurred prior to the birth of Messiah. A Choir of Heavenly Hosts descended and sang “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth and goodwill to men.” (Luke 2:13-14)

It is also important for us to remember God’s miraculous events as He prepared to render unto us the greatest gift ever. The birth of Messiah is surrounded by several miracles and amazing events such as:

1st Miracle: The Angel of God, “Gabriel the messenger”, appears to Zachariah, the temple Priest. The Angel informs him that he and his wife will bear a child, although they are past the childbearing years. Zachariah, for his disbelief is left temporarily mute and his elderly wife, as foretold by the Angel, conceives a child. That child becomes John the Baptist, who late prepares the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and His earthly ministry. (Luke 1:1-20)

2nd Miracle: Six months later the same Angel “Gabriel” appears to a Young Virgin named Mary and lets her know that she would give birth to a son. When she inquires “How could this be?” given that she is a virgin. The Angel responds that it would be of the “Holy Spirit”. (Luke 1:30-36)

3rd Miracle: Joseph, Mary’s espoused, understandably upset at this news, later miraculously accepts Mary, who according to the law should have been put to death by stoning. Joseph later understood that the child in her womb was of divine origin as revealed to him in a vision that assured him that Mary had not been unfaithful, therefore, Joseph protected her. (Matthew 1:20)

4th Miracle: The Emperor Augustus Caesar orders a Census. This forces Joseph to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, with his pregnant wife Mary who is soon to give birth. This order of a census miraculously took place to fulfill the prophecy that the Messiah would be born of a Virgen in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) (Luke 2:1-7)

5th Miracle: God organizes a choir of celestial beings which descend from the highest revealing themselves to Shepherds in the field bringing the good news that the Redeemer/ Savior has been born and they sang “Glory to God in the highest, And on the earth peace, and goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14)

My dear reader, Christmas is a magical time. There are many reasons to celebrate Christmas. It is a time to be Joyous, Grateful and feel the Love of God’s gift of His Son to the World.

As Christians the best gift we can give our neighbors at Christmas time, and always is the gift of a smile to someone who is sad, visit someone who is Sick, give a hug to your Enemy and say Jesus Christ Loves you and so do I. Let your light shine upon someone who is in need.

As Christians let’s Show the world that we are blessed because we are the recipients of the best gift that God has given all of Humankind, the precious gift of His son the Savior of the world. (John 3:16)

Christmas should be a time of peace, joy, unity, and a time to remember that we must have goodwill toward one another as members of one Race, the Human Race. Christmas is a time when we gather with family and friends to remember God’s most precious gift to the world. Christmas reminds us that our Creator loves us.

So, with my Virtues and all my defects I have accepted God’s most precious gift of His son Jesus Christ, and I have welcomed Him into my heart.

My friends, this is the reason for the Christmas Season. This is the reason we celebrate. Long live Christmas! Peace on Earth and Good will toward all humankind. I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

I am Reverend Ruben Diaz and this is What You Should Know.

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