Tuesday 11th December 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

December 22, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Many years ago, we read a column about some of the people alive at the time of Jesus’ birth who missed out on that first Christmas because they were preoccupied with other things. We can’t recall who wrote the column or we would give them credit for the idea. But we would like to share some of the insights that we can remember since they have just as much relevance today.

Those Who Missed Out On Christmas

There is no story in human history more familiar to us than the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. In the Scripture readings at Christmas, we will hear once again the details of this long-awaited and anxiously anticipated event, this turning point in human history that was not witnessed by earthly kings and their courts, but by a teenage mother and her husband, choirs of angels, a few shepherds, and some animals.
There were no news reporters or television cameras to record the coming of the Messiah, only some angels singing in the heavens. There was no “breaking news” coming out of Bethlehem, only the quiet arrival of the most famous Baby of all time.
We will hear in the readings at the Christmas Masses of the long and arduous journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the unavailability of a room at the inn, the birth of the Christ Child in a stable, angels singing on high, shepherds glorifying and praising God, Magi from the East bringing gifts of gold (symbolizing His kingship), frankincense (His divinity), and myrrh (His Passion and death). Yes, even at the birth of this Infant there was the shadow of the cross.
The Child should have been born in Nazareth, the hometown of Mary and Joseph, but as the time of His birth drew near, a secular ruler, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, ordered a census of the parts of the world under his domination. The census required that each person should register in the town where his family originated, so Joseph and Mary had to travel 90 miles to the City of David.
Augustus had unwittingly helped to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:1 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (“But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah,/ too small to be among the clans of Judah,/ From you shall come forth for me/ one who is to be ruler in Israel”). God has a way of using even those who do not believe in Him to help carry out His plans.
The name Bethlehem, by the way, means “House of Bread.” How fitting that the One who would call Himself the “Bread of Life” should be born there.
Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the Wise Men, Simeon and Anna in the Temple — these were the people who found Christmas. They were looking for the Messiah, and they were not caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world around them. They were not striving for material success or pleasure. They found Christmas because they were humble people, people who recognized their need for a Savior and who welcomed that Savior when He came.
These people might not have been considered important in the eyes of the society in which they lived, but they knew that they were important in the eyes of God. They may not have understood exactly what the birth of Jesus meant, but in their humility they knew that something of great significance was taking place, and they left themselves open to the working of God in their lives.
However, there were others in that remote corner of the world of that time who missed Christmas. They were very much a part of the Christmas drama, and should never have missed out on it, but they had other things on their minds, other interests and concerns. They were so enmeshed in their own little worlds that they never noticed the world-shaking event that was occurring in their midst.
Who were some of these people and why did they miss the most important birth in history?
One of them was the innkeeper who turned Mary and Joseph away from his place of lodging. He apparently suggested that they stay in his stable, which was nothing more than a cave on a hillside that sheltered animals. He must have noticed that the young woman who had come to the door of his inn was expecting a child at any moment, but he could not find room for her, just as so many today cannot find room in their houses or in their hearts for pregnant women and their babies.
The innkeeper should not have missed Christmas, of course, if for no other reason than that he was so close to it. The decree of the Emperor had brought the Holy Family to the town of Bethlehem. They had stood at the innkeeper’s door, perhaps even entered his waiting room, but he was too preoccupied with business to pay them more than fleeting attention. He was like many today who are so caught up with business, with shopping, and with parties that they miss the true meaning of Christmas.
The second person who missed the first Christmas, not surprisingly, was King Herod. He was an evil man, a man who would hesitate at nothing to keep himself in power, even the murder of at least one wife and three sons. When the Magi arrived at his palace in Jerusalem, asking about a “newborn king of the Jews” whose star they had seen in the sky, Herod became “greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” Fearing a threat to his rule over the people of Judea, he called in some of the chief priests and scribes and inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they informed him. So Herod told the Wise Men to go to Bethlehem and “search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” When Herod learned later that the Magi had started back to their own country without reporting to him, he ordered his soldiers to kill all boys two years of age and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.
But an angel warned Mary and Joseph of the danger to the Christ Child, and the trio fled into Egypt, not to return to Palestine until an angel told them that Herod had died.
King Herod should not have missed Christmas, either. He knew of the birth of the King of the Jews and its significance. God had given him an opportunity to change his evil ways, but instead of worshiping the Savior of the world, Herod tried to kill him. This earthly king was so addicted to power and greed that he missed the arrival of his heavenly King. His counterparts today are also so attached to power and pleasure, greed and glory, that they miss the presence of their heavenly King, too, as well as the love, the friendship, and the happiness that come to those who worship the King of Kings.
Another group of persons who missed that first Christmas included the religious leaders in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the scribes. They of all persons should not have missed the birth of the Messiah because they had studied the Scriptures which foretold His birth in Bethlehem of Judea. Even though they gave this information to Herod, they did not accompany the Wise Men to Bethlehem.
Why not? Perhaps it was their pride and arrogance, their unwillingness to accept the testimony of the Magi, their attitude that they were wiser and better informed than other people. But whatever the reason, the religious establishment in Jerusalem chose to ignore the signs of the times.
As it was in Palestine two millennia ago, so it is today. We have our modern-day Pharisees, too. These are the people who are interested in titles and fame, who lord it over others instead of serving them. They think that they have all the answers and they lack the humility necessary to bow down before the Child in the manger. In fact, they don’t even want mangers on public display or any public mention of Christ and Christmas lest people stop listening to them and start listening to the One who is the reason for the season.
There will surely be many persons who will find Christmas this December, but just as surely there will also be those who will miss it. Please God, nothing will ever prevent us from accepting the Prince of Peace into our hearts and into our lives.
A Blessed Christmas to all!

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

#Apple CEO Tim Cook took the mask off & said
They use Liberal Values to decide what content to censor

They once fought Big Brother
Now they & the rest of Big Tech
Are the #ThoughtPolice

Load More...

Pro-LGBT priest promotes ‘rainbow’ rosary with prayers for ‘full acceptance’ of gay couples

December 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin is promoting on social media a rosary with “rainbow” beads for one of the decades which are to be used, the rosary’s creators say, to pray for the “full…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò denies claims he defrauded his brother

ROME, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has denied claims he defrauded his brother, and has sought to clarify an October court ruling ordering him to pay his brother €1.8 million in inheritance. Many believe the ruling is being…Continue Reading

Vatican’s former doctrine chief: ‘LGBT’ has ‘no place’ in Church documents

VATICAN CITY, November 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An influential cardinal says that pro-homosexual terminology such as “LGBT” has no place in the documents of the Roman Catholic Church. In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, formerly the Prefect of the…Continue Reading


PHILADELPHIA (ChurchMilitant.com) – After Cdl. Donald Wuerl spearheaded a $25 million grant to the Vatican earlier this year through the Papal Foundation, sources confirm the money remains unaccounted for, the Rome hospital designated as beneficiary apparently never having received the grant. Sources also confirm Wuerl…Continue Reading

Cardinal guilty of covering up sex abuse addresses US bishops’ conference

BALTIMORE, November 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A cardinal barred from public ministry since 2013 as a result of his systematic cover-up of sex abuse spoke at the U.S. Bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore Tuesday, telling the bishops they “need to lead by witness.” In…Continue Reading

US bishops consider asking Pope Francis to release McCarrick documents

BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will consider officially asking Pope Francis to release any documents related to alleged serial sexual abuser Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The motion was made from the…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholic Bishops Meet in the Shadow, Still, of Clergy Sex Abuse

This weekend, the Catholic bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore ahead of their three-day annual general assembly, which opens Monday. By coincidence, it will be 16 years exactly since their session in 2002, when they met to amend…Continue Reading

The Synodal Church

Antonio Spadaro, SJ – Carlos Galli Forty years ago, Jesuit Father Arij Roest Crollius wrote: “What is so new about inculturation?”[1] His reflection was a milestone in the understanding of that word and in welcoming a concept at the heart of…Continue Reading

National network of Catholic church leaders told to preserve all communications

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to preserve all electronic and paper documents in case other federal prosecutors need to look into accusations of sexual assault against current…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke ‘strongly’ endorses new virtue education program for young people

October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of life, marriage, and family, has “strongly” endorsed a new virtue education program for children. “Alive to the World” is a continuous, story-based virtues/values program. Much…Continue Reading

Pittsburgh wants to revoke Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of kids event over Christian marriage views

PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – America’s most successful Christian food chain may be driven out of a children’s community event in Pittsburgh over the owners’ Christian-based view of marriage and homosexuality, if the Pittsburgh City Council has its way.…Continue Reading

Australian bishop touts women’s ordination: ‘transformation of priesthood’ is underway

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, October 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – An Australian bishop recently told priests that admitting women to the priesthood in the Church’s current state of affairs would be like pouring new wine into old wine skins, but that a “transformation…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Cdl. Burke: ‘Synodality’ suggests some kind of ‘new church’ where pope’s authority is destroyed

LIMERICK, Ireland, (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has come out criticizing the concept of “synodality” that was barely discussed during the recently concluded “Youth Synod,” but, nevertheless, found its way into the final document, surprising many of the Synod Fathers. “It’s become like a slogan, meant to suggest some kind of new church which is democratic and in which the authority of the Roman Pontiff is relativized and diminished—if not destroyed,” said Card

Facebook unblocks image of Santa kneeling before Baby Jesus after LifeSite report goes viral

December 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Facebook is no longer censoring an image of Santa Claus kneeling before the Baby Jesus that it had deemed “violent or graphic content” after a report on LifeSiteNews about the matter went viral yesterday. Facebook had obscured the picture, explaining that the “photo was automatically covered so you can decide if you want to se

Pro-LGBT Catholic prof: Many German bishops don’t believe homosexual acts are wrong

December 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic German ethics professor calls Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks on homosexuality “unbearable” and claims that, just as the Church’s teaching on the death penalty has changed, the teaching on homosexuality is also open to change. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has been under constant sharp criticism since his 21 November interview with LifeSiteNews, in whi

Cardinal accuses EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo of attacking Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY, December 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has come out swinging against EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, accusing him of reporting “negatively” on as well as “attack[ing]” Pope Francis. The former Archbishop of Durban tweeted last night that Arroyo was like a “throwback” to Northern Ireland’s most notorious anti-Catholic “Ian Paisley & his ilk.” “The World Over” hosted by Raymond A

Taxpayer dollars help California Planned Parenthood surpass record high income level

November 30, 2018 (American Life League) – For the first time in the history of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, one of its 56 affiliates documented that its annual income surpassed $100 million. The affiliate is Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, headquartered in San Jose, California. In its latest official document (Federal Form 990) filed with the federal government, PPMM reported that in the fiscal year, July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017, it had a…Continue Reading


When Can Americans Be Arrested In Retaliation For What They Say?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + It may be a prudent policy to always be polite to the police, but does that mean Americans must give up the right to be rude? A question similar to…Continue Reading

Who Shall Inherit The Earth?

By DONALD DeMARCO Abortion means that aborted babies will not inherit the Earth. Herein is an unequivocal tragedy. But this notion of not being eligible to inherit the Earth is being extended even to those who oppose abortion. In one rather flagrant example, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with Jessica Chasmar, stated…Continue Reading

Will Paris Riots Scuttle Climate Accord?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In Katowice, Poland, all the signers of the 2015 Paris climate accord have gathered to assess how the world’s nations are meeting their goals to cut carbon emissions. Certainly, the communications strategy in the run-up was impressive. In October came that apocalyptic UN report warning that the world is warming faster…Continue Reading

Amid Veto Threat… Ohio “Heartbeat Abortion” Bill Nears Senate Vote

COLUMBUS (CNA/EWTN News) — The Ohio Senate was expected to pass legislation banning abortion on an unborn baby after he or she has a heartbeat, and there could be enough votes to override Gov. John Kasich’s promised veto, amid questions over whether the proposal could withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny. Republicans control the Senate with…Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Court Of Appeals . . . EWTN Wins Lawsuit Over HHS Contraception Mandate

IRONDALE, Ala. (EWTN) — Following a legal battle that has lasted nearly seven years, EWTN Global Catholic Network has prevailed in its lawsuit against the U.S. government over what has become known as the “HHS Contraception Mandate.” In an order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit published Thursday, November 29, 2018,…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Lord Is Near

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Zeph. 3:14-18a Phil. 4:4-7 Luke 3:10-18 In the first reading today the Lord instructs Zion to shout for joy, Israel is to be joyful, and Jerusalem is to be glad and exalt. The reasons for this rejoicing are threefold: Israel’s judgment has been removed, God has turned their enemies…Continue Reading

ADD Represents D.C. Church… Atheists’ Lawsuit Would Force Churches To File Tax Returns

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a church in Washington, D.C. — The New Macedonia Baptist Church — have filed a motion in federal court to intervene in an atheist group’s lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by Freedom From Religion Foundation attorneys on behalf of Nonbelief Relief, Inc., seeks to more greatly entangle the government with religion by unconstitutionally…Continue Reading

The Authority Of Bishops… Can A Catholic Resist A Wrong Teaching Of His Bishop?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In the two previous articles we have learned from great Catholic theologians that a layman can resist a wrong decision of a bishop and even of the Bishop of Rome — the Pope. But — and this “but” is very important — wouldn’t such a resistance go against the teaching on papal infallibility?…Continue Reading

The Theological Virtues — Faith

By DON FIER As we transitioned last week from a lengthy treatment of the four cardinal virtues (and a brief overview of sanctifying grace) to the theological virtues, emphasis was given to the fittingness of the term “theological” (as derived from the Greek Theos and logos), for these virtues have God Himself as their Author, motive, and direct object. “Infused…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. For the benefit of those who do not have a computer or library access, could you please give us a list of the Doctors of the Church? I have a book entitled 33 Doctors of the Church, but I think some have been added since that book was published. — B.W., Florida. A. Doctor of the Church is a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Maria Virgo

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many terms we use in our language which are clichés. We hear people say that somebody “kicked the bucket,” meaning that he has died, or “I’ll send you to outer Mongolia,” meaning that they will ship you so far away no one will find you. Fr. Kalinowski not only went to a place just north…Continue Reading