The Sacred Excess of Christmas

The Sacred Excess of Christmas December 26, 2012

Dear Fellow Catholics,

Merry Christmas! Cristus natus est!

It’s party time. A time to feast and laugh and sing and make merry.

A time to forgive debts and loosen belts. A generous time. A time to give and receive.

There is a rigor to this holy season. It’s a twelve day party. Stamina and grace are key. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Christmas is not a single day; it is plural. A season that began on the Feast of the Nativity and will continue until Epiphany.

Are you prepared? Prepared or not, no matter, this party is obligatory. We must celebrate.


Now is the time to witness to the beauty of Christmas. Now is the time to offer “Merry Christmas” greetings.

Now is a time of sacred excess: a time when we are spiritually obliged to live our daily lives filled with exuberant joy.

There is room for excess in Christ. Room for more and more. Love is excessive, overwhelming, saturating. Baptism. The manger overflows with Christ.

The sufficiency of God is not prim and proper, staying inside the lines. It is a sacred excess. An oceanic, cosmic, universal Divine life. All consuming. A life that fills us inside and out. In our hearts and souls and out towards our body and the world. Spirit and flesh, timeless and incarnate. Beyond — always beyond — yet close and intimate.

May our lives, our homes, our doings and goings and sayings reflect the radical reality of Christmas.

A real party, a celebration worth celebrating about, must have room for a surprise. Dancing. Make room for Christ.

If it seems excessive, it’s because it is: a twelve-day feast. Don’t let up, keep going, show our children and our neighbors how special it is. How fun it is, too.


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