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There’s been much to do about the recent poll which suggested that Santa needs a brand new brand.

Twenty-seven percent of those polled, in fact, suggested that there needs to be gender-neutral Santa in the mix — which may work well with the gender neutral moniker Kris Kringle.

As I tell my boys, we don’t really know much about Santa Claus, except that his real name is Nicholas; that he lived in Turkey in the 4th century; and today lives forever in Heaven.  No one has ever truly seen the venerated saint who today honors Jesus on Christmas Eve, interceding for people of goodwill by spreading joy and glad tidings too all.

All the stories we hear about the Santa Claus, I further explain, be it stories by Clement Clarke Moore, L. Frank Baum, or Rankin/Bass, are just that … stories — stories of who we think this secret gift-giver was and is.

One of the first true rebrandings of Santa Claus came in the 1600’s.

According to Christianity Today, Martin Luther replaced Saint Nicholas with the Christ Child, or, in German, Christkindl.  To commemorate this, Luther gave his children toys and honey cakes at Christmas.

And so, the tradition of rebranding Santa began … and continues on to this day.

The truth is that the image of Santa Claus has been changing ever since 4th century sailors from Italy brought the relics of a Middle Eastern saint named Nicholas back home with them to Europe.

Since, every culture has embraced a Yuletide gift-giver who looks and sounds like the people he — or she — visits.

Yes, SHE!

Throughout Italy, the home of Rome, arguably the epicenter of Christianity, the gift-giver to children on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany (Little Christmas or the 12th Day of Christmas) is a woman named Befana.

Ever suggest to a child that they were going to receive coal in their stocking for being bad?  Well, that comes straight from Befana’s playbook.

Sadly, if any Christmas gift-giver could use a 21st century rebranding, it may be Befana.

So, should Santa be rebranded?

Well, using centuries of tradition as a guide, every home should follow their heart during the holiday season, and introduce a spirit of service and giving into their homes with a gift-giver that not only matches their own culture, but also reflects the diversity of those bearing gifts on the very first Christmas.

This theme runs through my books “Kwanzaa Klaus” and “Klaus – The Gift-giver to All!

 

 

So, it seems to me, when it comes to the uproar about rebranding Santa Claus, there’s much to do about nothing.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Kwanzaa KlausHail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL! To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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It often becomes awkward when people discover that I teach science.

First, when someone discovers I teach secondary school, they assume, because I’m a writer, that I teach English.  Next, when they discover that I’m a science teacher, they tilt their head and say something like, “How can you teach science and be religious?” — as if one excludes they other.

They do not.

Recently, while preparing to teach my AP Biology class, I read a paper on Fetal microchimerism. It’s a phenomenon involving fetal development that has lead to more questions than answers, but it is still fascinating.

Here’s my layperson interpretation: Though we know that blood cells of the mother and the fetus do not cross the placenta, stem cells of the fetus do. These stem cells can last, circulating in the mother’s system, for almost four decades.

Even more interesting, these stem cells can cross back across the placenta into a future child. So, simply put, unless you are the first born in your family, you have stem cells of your older siblings inside of you.

Wow! Being the youngest Dobkowski, I have my brother’s cells inside of me. That’s cool and creepy, at the same time.

Then, suddenly it hit me: That means Jesus’ stem cells crossed over into his mother, Mary.

As a Catholic Christian, I am familiar with some of the Marian traditions passed down through the centuries, such as: The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption of Mary/ Dormition of the Mother of God, Mary’s Perpetual Virginity….

Many of my non-Catholic Christians friends have a problem with these Church Teachings that have been passed down to the Faithful, through the ages, by Tradition.

However, the recent scientific discovery of fetal microchimerism not only scientifically supports the doctrine of these three Church Apostolic teachings, it confirms them.

In a three-part series, I will be showing you how science proves what the Church has been teaching — by faith alone — for nearly 2,000 years.

With today being the 100th Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, I would like to discuss how the recent scientific discovery of fetal microchimerism strongly confirms the Church teaching of Mary’s perpetual virginity.

I know this is a hot-bed of contention for many non-Catholic Christians because the Bible clearly states that James was the Brother of Our Lord and that Jesus had siblings … Or does it?

There are plenty of Catholic Christian sources that defend the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother, so I decided not to use the words of Catholic theologians, on this matter, but the writings of the Reformers themselves.

Regarding the common argument from Matthew 1.24-25 that Christ had siblings, the famous Reformer, John Calvin thought “that no just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words of the Evangelist, as to what took place after the birth of Christ.”

Calvin was not alone among the Protestant Reformers in defending the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Mother. Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Wesley all believed that the Mother of God remained Ever Virgin.  But don’t take my word for it.  Read what all three  wrote about the “blessed Virgin Mary” and Her perpetual virginity.

Regardless of what these Reformers believed, if Jesus was not an only child, then He, a devout Jew, would have broke Jewish Law by handing his mother over to St. John at the foot of the Cross. Something a devout Jew with brothers, would not — and could not — do.

So, Christ had to be an only child, biologically.  And I’ll prove it — using science.

In 2013, Miranda P. Dierselhuis and Els Goulmy wrote:

The presence of circulating fetal cells in mothers (microchimerism) during and after pregnancy is well established.1,2 Yet, nulliparous women carry male microchimeric cells as well.35 Vanished male twins,6 (un)known miscarriages of male fetuses,7 male leukocytes present in semen entering the female’s circulation,8,9 and transmaternal passage of cells derived from elder brothers10 have been suggested as possible sources of male microchimerism [Read more here.]

When read in the light of Scripture, the excerpt above becomes even more fascinating.

Since scripture teaches us that Mary was a virgin, none of the possibilities of microchimerism would apply to the Mother of God — except the “transmateral passage of cells derived from elder brothers.”

However, Dr. C. I. Scofield tells us why Mary had no brothers — period.

The editor of the Scofield Study Bible concluded that because of a blood curse on the Davidic royal line (Jer. 22:30), the Lord’s claim to the Throne of David could only have come through Mary, a descendant of David’s, and then only if she had no brothers. [1]

Why is this important?

Jesus was God Incarnate and without sin.  So, He could not have anyone else’s cells in Him — cells bearing the inheritable stain of mortal sin.

So, Mary scientifically not only had to be a virgin, but a non-microchimeric virgin at the time of the Incarnation, as well.

For that very same reasoning, Mary also had to stay Ever-Virgin.

You see, science reveals that by 7-weeks, the fetus’s stem cell begin to cross-over into the mother.

As stated above, these fetal stem cells don’t just cross over and dwell inside of Mom as the nourished baby develops and grows, but they also return to the womb and nest inside future siblings.  That’s why  Dierselhuis and  Goulmy came to the conclusion that  “all humans are born as microchimeras.”

Since all of Mary’s biological off-spring — if she had any — would have followed in lineage after her first-born, who was Jesus Christ, all of Jesus’ brothers and sisters,  according to Dierselhuis and Goulmy’s findings, would have been “born as microchimeras” — more specifically, microchimeras with Christ.

Science calls the phenomenon fetal microchimerism, after the chimera, a monster from Greek mythology that was part lion, goat and dragon. However, if your are a chimera with Christ, micro or not, you are technically part God.

That would make any brothers and sisters of Jesus biologically consubstantial with Our Lord and, therefore, according to our Creed, make these siblings, ispo facto, of one and the same substance to the Father — in short, part of the Holy Trinity.

Based on what we now know on fetal microchimerism, to say that Jesus had brothers and sisters, sounds a bit blasphemous — biologically speaking.

All this becomes clearer when shared in the light of Isaiah 59:2:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God….

Remember, at the time of the Incarnation, the Holy Spirit — which dwells in us — was not yet been given to the Church.  Pentecost hadn’t happened and the Resurrection was 30-plus years away.

The world, as a whole, was still in a sinful condition and the debt of this sin had not yet been paid.

So,  Jesus could not be within His brothers and sisters  — who have not yet had the stain of original sin wiped clean or been saved by the Sanctify Grace given to us through Christ’s Death and Resurrection — AND ALSO be separated from them at the same time.

That’s a major contradiction — and God can’t contradict Himself.

Now, if you’re Catholic, I know what you’re thinking: What about Holy Communion? Doesn’t Christ enter our body when we receive his Body and Blood, you ask.

Theologically, no!

When we go partake in Holy Communion, we enter into the Body of Christ. 

More specifically, we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and [in his] Blood to form a single body” (Cathecism 1331).  This communion is why we are not suppose to receive Eucharist unworthily and/or with the knowledge of committing a mortal sin.

That’s why St. Paul tell us, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor 11-27).

(You can read more about this in the Theology of Jesus’ Blood Type … next week.)

Venial sins, if you are wondering, are washed away by the water we bless ourselves with when we enter the Church and, again and again, by the nine prayers said during Mass that forgive us of our venial sins.  

Science and Scripture both teach us that Light does not exist in Darkness

So, therefore, Jesus, the Light of the World, could never dwell in any body where there is the absolute darkness of sin.  Not as a single-cell.  Nor in any multicellular form.

The science is clear, and because it’s clear, my Faith is sealed.

 

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

 

COMING UP:

Part II:  The Science Behind the Assumption of Mary (August 15, 2017)
Part III: The Science Behind the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2017)

 

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, ‘Twas, and the new book series Hail Mary. For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

 

FIGURE SOURCE:

Boddy, A. M., Fortunato, A., Wilson Sayres, M. and Aktipis, A. (2015), Fetal microchimerism and maternal health: A review and evolutionary analysis of cooperation and conflict beyond the womb. BioEssays, 37: 1106–1118. doi:10.1002/bies.201500059

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.201500059/full

 

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