The month of December is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated on December 8. The first 2 days of December fall during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time and are represented by the liturgical color green. The next 22 days fall during the liturgical season of Advent and are represented by the liturgical color purple. The remaining days of December mark the beginning of the Christmas season. The liturgy of Advent focuses on remembering Christ's first coming at Bethlehem which then directs our mind to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time.
In the same way that a family eagerly prepares for a baby, so in Advent we too should prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. We should keep Advent as a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and of hope and keep our thoughts on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on the flesh. Let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell
IMPORTANT DAYS OF THE MONTH
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the solemn dogma defined by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. Blessed Pope Pius IX proclaimed on December 8, 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."
Today the Church celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ, the first day in the octave of Christmas. Throughout Advent the Church longed ardently for the coming of our Savior. Today she celebrates His birth with unrestrained joy. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." The Son of God became man to give us a share in that divine life which is eternally His in the Blessed Trinity. Christmas time begins on December 24 with the first Vespers of the feast and ends on the feast of the Baptism of Christ. White vestments reappear in our churches as a sign of joy.
The Christmas feast is a festival full of joy. The Eternal Word has become Man and dwells among us. The longings of the patriarchs and prophets are fulfilled. With the shepherds we hurry to the manger and adore the Incarnate Son of God, who for us and for our salvation descended upon earth. The purpose of the Christmas feast is beautifully expressed in the Preface of the Nativity: "For by the mystery of the Word made flesh the light of Thy glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind; so that while we acknowledge Him a God seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen."
The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honor to His family. Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honor to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that would be safeguarded by His family.
We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family. He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them. This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary; and not only to Mary but Joseph also for Mary’s sake [….]. God obeyed a human creature; this is humility without precedent. A human creature commands God; it is sublime beyond measure.
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine
eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee
to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of danger for my soul. And in
order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble
and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire
being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too
be saved. Amen.