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By Jack Kenny, Crisis Magazine, December 2, 2019
Jack Kenny is a freelance writer living in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”
In the Church calendar, the days of holy feasts and solemnities go by with dizzying speed. And sometimes the chronology seems disordered. We might wonder, for example, why the Slaughter of the Innocents on December 28th comes before the Epiphany on January 6th. The short span of time from the end of the Christmas Season to the beginning of Lent is, again, dizzying. We are hardly able to absorb the meaning of Good Friday before Saturday evening brings us to the Vigil Mass for Easter Sunday.
However, the arrangement of the Church calendar to end the liturgical year with the Feast of Christ the King and to begin the cycle anew one week later with the First Sunday of Advent is highly instructive. For one thing, the first couple of Sundays of Advent are focused not on the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago but His coming again as King of Heaven and Earth. Even as the babe in the manger, He was—as the question of the Wise Men indicates—“born King of the Jews.”
Most of the secular world begins its carol-crooning and “holiday” parties before Thanksgiving and the rest of it no later than Pearl Harbor Day on December 7th. Even those events that still invoke the title “Christmas” make no reference to the One born that day or anything else pertaining to that holy time and place. Has anyone ever heard mention of Christ at the office “Christmas” party? ….