During the Season of Advent, one often hears in Church circles and even in the popular media the plea, or something similar to it, “Let’s keep the Christ in Christmas.” But before we can take that plea seriously (as we ought to), we have to first understand what it means to keep Christ in Christianity.
In the first chapter of his Gospel, St. John eloquently provides an account of the divine paternity of Jesus of Nazareth, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (1:14-NRSV). On the other hand, both the Gospels of St. Matthew (1:1-17) and St. Luke (3:23-38) offer accounts of Jesus’ human genealogies, revealing that He is, like each of us, connected to generations of predecessors, flesh and blood human beings, without whom he would lose his earthly identity. For in order for Jesus to be the Son of David, he has to be the Son of Mary. And in order to be the Second Adam, he has to share Adam’s nature, and hence, he is one of us, “yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15).