It's here, once again, Christmas time!
As a Catholic, I insist that holidays with Christian origins to be credited to the original Christian brand, Roman Catholics. If you don't like it, I don't care. Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, all holidays (Holy Days as we call them in the faith) have all been hijacked to some extent by the secular world and turned into marketing tools. This is wrong, but I'm going to avoid soap-boxing this matter. Those who don't have a faith in Jesus Christ are welcome to celebrate anything they want on December 25. I'm not saying you shouldn't celebrate, I'm saying don't celebrate Christmas (Christ's Mass) if you aren't a believer.
Why you ask? Well, this is an important celebration to Christians. This is when we remember how God decided to reach out to us to make sure we find salvation and an eternity of joy with him. He became one of us, truly man and God, then sacrificed himself for us, dying and rising, showing us what waits if we follow him. So Christmas is about the beauty of service and sacrifice, not cheap TV's. Once again, if you don't follow that belief, that is your choice. I'm not to stand in judgement of anyone. Just know that I pray for all of you that do not believe, that one day your hearts may be turned, and that you will eventually see heaven.
No, just being a good person doesn't guarantee anything. You're making up your own rules and since you didn't create the universe in which you live, you don't get to make the rules for it. Plus, it's a weak argument. "I'm basically good." By whose standards? By yours? So by that thinking, if you lowered your standards to where people who smoke crack and rob liquor stores are basically good, and you smoked crack and robed liquor stores, you'd still be basically good? You're justifying laziness. No one wins on survivor by just laying in their hut and saying, I'm basically good so I deserve to win. You want Heaven? Get out there and work for it.
And work for it is what we should all do each day. Falling short is also what I do each day. I am not perfect. I am a sinner. I fall off the horse quite often, go to confession, and try again. Still I'm not perfect. I am a sinner. But each day I need to try to do better. And that's what I think about at Christmas. God sent his son to find us. We are worthwhile. He loves us and he came looking for us. That means you and me. Since we are worthwhile and worth saving, it's time for all of us to start acting like it. I know I will, but I will fall, and I will need to start again. The failing doesn't matter. Succeeding doesn't matter. Believing is what matters.
So Merry Christmas to you all! Remember that first person shooter games and the latest smart phone are great trinkets to help us enjoy the darker moments of our lives, but they will not get us to Heaven. That you have to earn.