Excerpt from "The Blessing of Christmas" by J. Ratzinger

Why do we bake and give away sweets at Christmas? “In that day, the mountains will drip sweetness, and the rivers will flow with milk and honey” (An Old Testament verse that is part of the Advent liturgy). People of old found in such words the embodiment of their hopes for a world redeemed. They celebrated Christmas as the day on which God truly came. When he comes at Christmas, he distributes his honey.. truly, the earth must flow with honey on that day: where he is present, all bitterness disappears, and there is harmony between heaven and earth, between God and man. The honey and the sweets are a sign of this peace, of concord and of joy.

This is why Christmas has become the feast of when we give presents, when we imitate the God who has given us his own self and has thereby given us once again that life which truly becomes a gift only when the “milk” of our existence is sweetened by the “honey” of being loved. And this love is not threatened by any death, any infidelity, or any meaninglessness.

Ultimately, all this finds its unity in the joy that God has become a child who encourages us to trust as children trust, and to give and receive gifts…Perhaps the right way to celebrate Advent is to let the signs of God’s love that we receive in this period penetrate our soul, without resistance, without questions and quibbling.


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