December 17, 2018
Center for Campus Ministry: December 17
It's Finals Week!
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Center for Campus Ministry: December 17
Editor's Note: This is our last E-News for the year. We will be taking a break during J-Term and will resume publication in February 2019. A special thank you goes out to one of our students, Clare Solander, who works in the Campus Ministry office, and has also graciously shared with us her artwork, especially during Advent, for our newsletter and our seasonal reflections.
Wishing you all a Joyous Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.
From Our Chaplain
What is Christmas? The answer to the question depends upon the context. In Christian circles Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the child of the Virgin Mary. The day, is also more formally known in certain Christian circles as the Feast of the Incarnation.
Of course, we cannot say with any historical accuracy that Jesus of Nazareth was actually born on December 25 anymore then we can say with certainty that George Washington, the first President of the United States chopped down a cherry tree as a little boy. Eastern Christians/Catholics celebrate the feast day on 6 January according to the Julian calendar. However, in the West, December 25 has been set as Christmas Day since the time of Emperor Constantine in 336.
In the United States, Christmas is a holy day for Christians. Parishes and congregations will be filled to capacity and then some on Christmas Eve. The day is also a family day without religious meaning for many others in our country.
Whatever people's convictions about Christmas it is probably no surprise that it has become the single most important day for gift giving of the whole year. The holiday season, from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day, is the strongest retail sales period for the year. This year individuals are predicted to spend an average of $794 purchasing Christmas gifts for loved ones and friends. Needless to say, this is a lot of spending and a lot of gift giving.
The practice of gift giving seems to have begun in earnest during the Victorian era or around the 1840's. However even in the Middle Ages it was customary to give a gift to a loved one on each of the 12 days of Christmas beginning with Christmas Eve and continuing to January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany which celebrates the visit of the Three Kings or Wise Men to the infant, Jesus.
The greatest gift is God's gift to us in his Son, Jesus. The Gospel of John reminds us "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever might believe in him should not perish." (John 3:16). Even the most expensive gift earth can offer pales in comparison to God's gift to us.
Finally, the Christmas story reminds us about the poor and humble estate into which the King of Kings was born. Therefore our celebration is more complete with making a gift to those without adequate food, shelter or clothing during this holy season.
Our staff within the Center for Campus Ministry wish all a joyous and holy season.
The Tommie Catholic Planning Committee wishes you a merry Christmas and thanks you for your support throughout the fall semester. Tommie Catholic is committed to offering a context for students to authentically embrace their Catholic faith and make Jesus the center of their lives. There were 11 Tommie Catholic events this semester, all with 100+ participants. As a committee, we feel honored that so many of you have spent your Tuesday evenings with us. See you on Tuesday February 12, 2019 for our spring kick-off.
Night will be taking a break during J-Term, returning for the Spring semester.
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Center for Ministry
University of St. Thomas - 2115 Summit Ave. - St. Paul, MN 55105 - USA
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