Usually, we think of Christmas as being a feel-good season. Yet, the Church does not necessarily see it in that manner. YES, Emmanuel came into the world to be the light of the world. YES, he came to be hope. At the same time, the world will reject this hope. We hear of the great martyrs all through the Christmas Season, people like Saint Stephen and all the holy innocents which we hear in today’s gospel. They shed their blood because of their belief in the infant holy child, a real person, not a myth or fairy tale.
And how about today? Are we still crying the gospel with our lives in our workplaces and local communities? When we preach Christ WITH OUR LIVES, is the spirit stirred up in us where those who hear the message are not only uncomfortable but are called into a conversion of love? The truth without charity is only half the truth.
To be a martyr and shed our blood for Christ, is gift. To preach the gospel at all times to all people is a vocation to holiness.