quod pro nobis traditum est

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

synching of traditions

This year New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. New Year's Day is full of traditions which we enjoy, beginning, of course, with New Year's Eve. I rarely stay up to meet the midnight hour, although this year I made it to 11:00 p.m., which was midnight in another timezone. Within Christianity, following some trends to be more user-friendly, certainly some churches gave their parishioners a "day off" as some have done on Christ-mass Day in years past. I am not so sure about bowing down here.

This year the traditions synched - New Years' Day on a Sunday, or the "Lord's Day," an ancient Christian tradition originating in the Lord's Resurrection. This year Sunday was also the Octave Day of the Nativity, a continuation of the celebration. Traditionally too, Sunday was the Feast of the Circumcision. Monday was the Holy Name of Jesus. All combined, New Year's Day this year became a happy coincidence, with the continuation of Christmas being recognized in a fulfillment of the Law (this means that the Law, coming from God, is a good thing) in Jesus' circumcision and his being given the Holy Name, the Savior's name. It is not hard to get from the blessed Incarnation to Mary, being the Mother of God, when God is with us.

Back to traditions. Nothing wrong with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, gift-giving and having one's drink (in moderation) during the festive season. These are good traditions of family and friends. So too, the children of God recognize holiness for what it is and receive their gifts on the Lord's Day as part of the sacred Tradition. God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. This year the Tradition re-vitalized as it synched itself with the new year.

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son . . . In Him, the son of Mary, we are sons and heirs. Jesus was given His name by the angel before He was even conceived in the womb. At His circumcision he was so named. At our Baptism we received the Holy Spirit and the Name given us before we were born. There is something here about us too participating in the coming of the fullness of time.

We tend to lean against traditions as if they will bring us down, when really it is about picking and choosing. As sinners, we shy away from holy things. In a secular age we do not know what to think about holiness. Not so for the sons of God who from baptism have the Spirit of God's Son in our hearts. On this year's New Year's day, a Sunday, traditions synched for those who live in both the world and the Church. Holy tradition is a re-vitalizing thing. With the new year we recognize the holiness of God, as we are so given in hearing His Holy Word and in Christ's true Body and Blood in the blessed Eucharist. Holiness and forgiveness are connected.

There is something about the coming together of time and its holiness, the fullness of time, when eight days were completed. Let us enjoy the New Year and let us bask in the glory of this year's New Year's Day. As the psalmist says, "A sanctified day has shone upon us: come ye Gentiles and adore the Lord: for this day a great light hath descended upon the earth."