Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Christmas means “All you can eat.”


It is right up there with some of the best. At the Christmas Vigil Mass, Father Bob Knippenberg at Holy Family of Joseph, Mary, Jesus Parish gave one of the best homilies I have had the pleasure of hearing.

He reminded the faithful that Christmas is “All about the Food.” He introduced us to the background of the term “manger” which comes from the French “maingeure” and means “to chew.” This makes great spiritual sense for Christ calls himself the “Bread of Life” and John 6 informs us that Jesus taught his disciples to gnaw on His flesh. Sure, there were those that thought this scandalous and Jesus reminded them that if they don’t believe to just walk away. I am sure some did. How does this bread become the Holy Flesh? As Aquinas reminds us in his hymn, what the eyes and tongue see and taste as bread is substantially the Body of Christ because our ears have heard it so from the Word made Flesh. If we can believe that the Word became Flesh and He made the water into wine, Archbishop Sheen reminds us that He can make wine become His Blood.

Another typological truth is the city that the Babe was born in. It could have been Rome, Tikal, or Chang’an. However, in God’s Divine Wisdom, He chose “O Little town of Bethlehem.” Bethlehem in Arabic “Bayt Laym” means “House of Flesh” and in Hebrew "Bet Lehem” translates as “House of Bread.” Hindsight being 20/20, it sure appears that Bethlehem was the chosen city to be the birthplace as prophesized in the Old Testament. A great military general to lead the Jewish people to victory was not to be though, rather God Made Man so that we might enter not into an earthly paradise but to enter into His Divine Life. This Divine Life feeds not on the goods of the earth, but on every Word that comes from above including, “Take, eat. This is my body.”

Because God is “All,” Christmas truly is “All you can eat.”