It is good for you and me to remain near the crib – to be charmed by the Christ Child, to be warmed by His mother’s love.
But we also know how the story goes on. The child grows into a man, a man who teaches, who heals, who touches hearts and challenges them. And the mother who today, tenderly cradles the infant Jesus in her arms, will one day hold his crucified body after it has been taken down from the cross.
While the event of Jesus’ birth was hidden away in a humble cave, far away from the palaces of the rich and mighty. The entrance of God’s beloved son into the world has reverberated through two millennia, revealing God’s enduring and unconditional love for each one of us.
What we celebrate then, is so much more than just a remembrance of a past event. We come together in faith, to worship a living God, who is present among us now; a God who lovingly sustains us along every step of life’s journey. We proclaim that Jesus, the child of poverty and a sign of contradiction, is also a messenger of hope. The light shining in the darkness, the pledge of God’s love for us. And that makes all the difference in the world, especially when so many of us live in fear, where there is suffering and anxiety, uncertainty about the present and future, loneliness and sadness and the fact that all of humanity is fragile and we are all as human beings imperfect and we are all works in progress so to speak.
So, no matter who you are, know this: The angel of God gives us a glimpse of the powerful realms of heavens from which God’s enduring love pours into our world and enters into our lives today transforming every fibre of our being.
The mystery and message of Christmas Challenges us all to be better people. Bethlehem is no longer a hillside cave, it is rather every place we create justice, freedom, and love. So let us not be timid or ashamed to renew our Catholic faith by becoming more Christ-like in what we do and say, and by striving earnestly to be a better person, a kind and generous friend to those we meet.
I wish you a Happy Christmas, and with my wish goes the hope that you accept God’s gifts today: The gifts of faith, hope, and charity to respond to the goodness of Christ’s birth and His message, so that you may have the courage to become Christ’s hands and feet in our world today.