“On this second day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, two turtle doves….and a partridge in a pear tree…” It is a familiar Christmas carol…one that is quite long and fun to sing when you have a house full of people who are feeling festive and up for the challenge. But what does the song mean? As a child we sang this song, never giving a thought to why it was written or what it might mean.
The story has it, that this song was written in Britain during a period in history when it was illegal to practice the Catholic Faith. It has been said that the song was written with hidden messages so that the children could be taught the Catholic Faith without fear of repercussions from the anti-Catholic government. The song recounts each gift that was given by ‘My True Love…’ Today’s gift of the two turtle doves is supposed to represent the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Each of the gifts the ‘True Love’ gives are in fact gifts that God, Our One True Love, has given us, particularly through Faith and the Holy Mother Church….There is debate as to the authenticity of this research…but it is quite interesting to say the least. But what we do know, is that these twelve days of Christmas are rift with gifts…or feasts, to help us focus on our primary goal…that of reaching sainthood…thus securing a spot with God in heaven…so that we may be free to praise and worship Him for all eternity.
On this second day of Christmas…December 26th, we have the feast of Saint Stephen, the first holy martyr. This feast is particularly important for Christians as it helps point the way, not only to Christ, but the way of Christ as well.… It shows us that the baby whose birth we celebrated yesterday, came as a sacrifice for many…He came to die for us…He came to die for our sins…it is a brutal reminder of the Truth…but something that, as Christians, we must face… It is also a reminder as to how we are supposed to live our Faith… we are to be standing in the ready, willing to lay down our life for that of another. Saint Stephen was stoned for Christ…we must be willing to do the same.
We may never be called to lay it all on the line, but so many times we are called to step up…to help the marginalized and those who are suffering in one way or another…Often we are called…to be Christ’s voice… the lone voice amidst all the chaos, defending the Faith. When all those around us are seeped in sin and promoting it as the ‘truth’, we need to invoke the intercession of St. Stephen, so that we be able to always stand for what is right…whether they are hurtling stones at us or just angry insults…we must always stand on the side of Christ, and be willing to defend His Faith…His Truth…and His Holy Church with our life… Saint Stephen, pray for us.