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Chaplain’s Corner

The Meaning of Christmas

December 18, 2023

By Fr. Christopher Kubat, M.D

Merry Christmas and Christmas Season!

In the 23rd chapter of the book of the prophet Jeremiah we read, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch …. when men will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but as the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of the north country and out of all of countries where he had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land” (Jer 23:5-8).

What does this passage mean? If God was powerful enough to bring His people out of Egypt and Babylon where they were enslaved back to the promised land, then He has the power to bring us back when we are enslaved by sin. This is why after his tongue was loosed Zechariah said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people to set them free” (Luke 1:68). Jesus Christ gives us freedom from sin.

This is what Christmas is all about, the Son of God becoming the Son of Man to set us free from being slaves to sin that leads to death. Not many people were aware of His birth in a cave in Bethlehem. And while on earth, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10). Unfortunately, Christmas for many is a secular holiday devoid of the divine. It is tempting to believe that only a minority people in the world really know and have a relationship with Jesus, “but to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12).

This Christmas, may we never forget that if God had the power to bring His people out of slavery while in Egypt and Babylon, He has the power to bring any one of us back to Him no matter how far we have wandered, no matter what we are enslaved by. Remember the parable of the Prodigal Son? We only need to turn to Him in humility. It is never too late. Always remember that the greatest gift God the Father ever gave is the gift of His Only Begotten Son, who gave His life for us in order to save us from our sins. Let us, likewise, give ourselves to Him this Christmas.

Let us thank the Blessed Virgin Mary for saying ‘yes’ when the Archangel Gabriel asked her if she would be the Mother of God. If she is the Mother of the Head of the Church, she is the mother of the members of the Church. Let us also thank St. Joseph for his steadfast love that Christmas morn and beyond.

My prayer is that you and your families have a blessed and holy Christmas and New Year! Merry Christmas and happy New Year!


National Chaplain Fr. Christopher Kubat, M.D. is the pastor of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Tecumseh, Nebraska and St. Mary Catholic Church in St. Mary, Nebraska. He serves as a member of CMA’s Health Care Policy, Ethics, Awards, and Executive committees.