If you saw a red globe in the night sky earlier this week, don’t panic! You didn’t drink too much egg nog, and the end of the world is not at hand.
What you witnessed was a lunar eclipse, an uncommon event in which the moon passes through Earth’s shadow.
A lot of people are talking about how the eclipse coincided with the winter solstice. But Catholics should note something else: the Christ connection. Jesus was crucified under a lunar eclipse that occurred at the time of the Jewish Passover festival, possibly on April 3, 33 AD.
With so much focus being placed on the economic impact of Christmas this year, we could almost say that God painted the moon red to remind us of the holiday’s true meaning – a virgin birth that put Christ on the path to the cross. Just as the star of Bethlehem led the wise men to the prophesied Messiah, God’s Christmas ornament in the sky leads us back to the manger and the story of the ultimate sacrifice.
Yes, holiday retail sales are important; but if we look to Christmas for mere economic salvation, we will be as disappointed as the Palm Sunday Jews who sought political salvation. We need to celebrate Christmas in a way that keeps Christ at the center and puts others before ourselves.
Our Cross Catholic “Gifts that Glorify” Christmas Catalog provides one simple, convenient way for Catholics to glorify Christ this season. Instead of asking for the latest iPod, tell your friends and relatives to give a gift to a poor child overseas in your name. Or make your own donation in someone else’s honor. It’s as easy as the click of a mouse.
Whatever you do to celebrate the holiday this year, we wish you all a very merry, Christ-centered Christmas!