(LifeSiteNews) — When my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world this year, it very much felt like our own personal Christmas.
Obviously, my son is not the incarnate logos sent to earth to redeem mankind like Jesus Christ was, and he was also not born of a virgin. However, there are some parallels between the birth of our son and the celebration of the birth of our lord and savior.
The joyful anticipation of Advent feels similar to the anticipation we felt in the weeks before our son was born. Finally holding this little, innocent human being in our arms did feel wonderful and surreal at the same time.
After he was born, people came and offered gifts, whether that was clothes for the child or food for us because we were too exhausted to cook. Granted, no one brought us large amounts of gold, but you can still see the similarity to the three magi offering up their gifts to the Son of God.
Also, the family came together in celebration of this occasion, as they do around Christmas time.
But the birth of our son also had some parallels with Easter. In German, there is an idiom to express that something never happens which goes “when Christmas and Easter fall on the same date.”
Well, they sort of did for us. In addition to the birth of my son feeling like our own personal Christmas, he was also born on Holy Saturday, one day before Easter.
Additionally, the birth of our son also felt like Easter to us. My wife’s labor pains began on the eve of Holy Thursday, right after we were at Mass to commemorate the last supper of our Lord before his passion began in Gethsemane.
On Good Friday, the contractions got increasingly stronger and more painful and they became a meditation on the sorrowful mysteries of our Lord’s passion. On Holy Saturday, we experienced the joy of easter as the passion was over and our son was born.
Our son’s namesake, St. John, was the only apostle that was present together with our lady at the foot of the cross when our Lord was crucified. Additionally, my wife is named after St. Mary Magdalene, who was among the first who saw the risen Christ.
Only after the experience of our son being born, and after seeing the parallel to the passion and resurrection of Christ, I realized that Jesus himself drew this connection.
When our Lord talks to the apostles about his death and resurrection, he says that “A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she rembereth nor more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” (John 16:21)
So, in a wonderful and mystical way, our son’s birth felt a bit like Christmas and Easter at the same time.