Wednesday, December 21, 2011

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree: Homage to Obama but not Jesus

CNS News reports that "The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ. (See here).

I am reminded of what Pope Benedict XVI had to say at the General Audience of December 20, 2006: "The Advent liturgy also exhorts us to be sober and watchful in order not to let ourselves be burdened by sin and excessively worldly concerns. Indeed, it is by watching and praying that we will be able to recognize and accept the splendour of Christ's birth. St. Maximus of Turin, a Bishop of the fourth and fifth centuries, said in one of his homilies: "The time warns us that the Birth of Christ the Lord is at hand. The world with its own apprehensions speaks of something imminent that will renew it, and desires with impatient expectation that the splendour of a brighter sun may illumine its darkness.... This expectation of creation also persuades us to wait for Christ, the new Sun, to rise" (cf. Hom. 61a, 1-3). Creation itself, therefore, leads us to discover and recognize the One who must come.

But the question is: is the humanity of our time still waiting for a Saviour? One has the feeling that many consider God as foreign to their own interests. Apparently, they do not need him. They live as though he did not exist and, worse still, as though he were an "obstacle" to remove in order to fulfil themselves.."

Is this our attitude?  Do we consider Jesus as an obstacle to our own interests?  Do we pay lip service to Jesus while living as if we don't need Him?  Father James Sullivan writes, "How I should love Your Name, my Jesus!  And what personal love and devotion I should feel for You!  Yet I am cold.  Your presence in the Eucharist doesn't move me; Your reflection in others I overlook.  I pass so much of the day without any recollection of Your presence, Your nearness or Your goodness all around me.  And I act on natural likes and dislikes when every affection of my heart should be loyally and lovingly dedicated to the King Who is my Saviour." (My Meditation on the Gospel, p. 28).

This Advent Season, are we waiting for Christ, the new Sun, to rise in our hearts?  Or are we constrained by ego and selfish desires?


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Obama has much in common with King Herod. Both seek to remove Jesus as He is seen as a threat to their rule (one by murder and the other by simply ignoring Him - recall the covering of the IHS at Georgetown). And both support killing the Holy Innocents.

Herod wanted to be King of the world. Obama said that he was.

Anonymous said...

You're trashing ornaments that children made to support your weird POV?

Merry Christmas, Mr. Scrooge. You need prayers more than Mr. Obama does (and yes, he does).

Samantha said...

No anonymous, you are the one in need of prayer. Mr. Melanson is absolutely right. Christmas is Christ's birthday. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus, not President Obama.

You should meditate very carefully on why you have so much hatred for Christ and those who follow Him.

Samantha said...

By the way, it was CNS - the Catholic News Service - which originally covered this story. I suppose they too are trashing the ornaments made by children?

You should spend a little time in prayer. Your arrogance is showing.

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

There are some incredibly stupid people out there. This blog post has nothing to do with "trashing" ornaments made by children.

Only someone dense, or psychologically unstable, would get that from this blog post.


Rita Jeannine Melanson said...

Our Holy Father asks, "is the humanity of our time still waiting for a Saviour?"

Jesus told us that He came in His Father's name but the world did not accept Him but another will come in his own name and he will be accepted. John 5:43.

He who comes in his own name is Antichrist.

Liam said...

Take this up with Speaker Boehner. This is Congress' Christmas tree, and it seems the tradition is to rotate the tree and its decorations among the 50 states. This year, it was California's turn. This was the exterior ornament theme spec sheet, FWIW. Every year has a different theme, it seems.

In any event, the White House has zip to do with this tree - this is Congress's tree. The Speaker is the one who dedicates it, it appears.

Wendy said...

No Liam. We've seen this before. The Obama administration, as Paul has already mentioned, asked Georgetown University to cover over the IHS on the podium; the first three letters in Greek for Jesus' name.

There is something rather disturbing going on here. Obama is honored but Jesus isn't. Not even during His birthday.

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