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Of Holidays: Feast Days

Knotical

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Feast Days are those in which the Catholic Church, whether it is a local congregation or the Vatican itself, set aside to commemorate those who made significant contributions to the growth of the church, especially during its most formative years.  Many were martyrs and the like and the day on which their feast falls corresponds with either their date of birth, or more routinely, the day they died.  But should we as Christians celebrate these feast days.

 

Sure, we as humans love a good celebration.  And why not celebrate the sacrifice made by some of the more iconic members of the church?  After all, in many cases, these individuals gave their lives for what they believed in.  But we should first ask ourselves would many of these individuals want this kind of fuss made over them?  I am quite certain, based on the many insights that can be gleaned from his letters, Paul would be completely appalled to think anyone would celebrate a feast in his honor.  He would be the first to point out that if it were not for the Grace of God he would still be known as one of the hypocritical Pharisees that Jesus dueled with on many occasions in His time on this earth.  And that there is nothing that has been accomplished on Paul's missionary journeys that cannot be attributed to God working through him; therefore, it is not Paul who should be receiving the praise for any of his accomplishments, but God.  So by celebrating a feast day specifically because of one person's accomplishments means that the emphasis is misplaced.

 

Should we celebrate feast days?  Maybe.  But let us make sure we are directing our praise in the right direction.  There is one feast day that comes to mind that has completely lost its purpose.  That being St Patrick's Day (March 17th).  This "holiday" has become something completely contrary to what it started out as.  This holiday was to commemorate the efforts of a man that brought Christianity to Ireland, and yet has become an excuse for people to get drunk.  Would this man really be pleased with how this day is currently celebrated?

 

As mentioned in the original Holiday post, when considering the celebration of a certain person or event it is important not to break the 2nd Commandment by making an idol out of someone or something.  The focus should always remain where it should be.  On God.

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