he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.' And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favours”. (Luke 2:10-14)
A Saviour has been born to you
The great Good News of Joy is that a Saviour has been born to you. The babe in the manger in Bethlehem is truly the promised Messiah, the anointed by the Most High and, hence, the Savior. Our forefathers were waiting for him for thousands of years. We have been waiting for him for 25 days symbolically. Christ the Saviour is born on Christmas.
A light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel
Christmas is the celebration of light. God has sent us the purest and brightest light of all: “The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who lived in a country of shadow dark as death a light has dawned.”(Mt 4:16). That light was the life of all.
At Christmas we have plenty of lights, reminding us of the shining star of Christmas, Jesus Christ. The twinkling lights all over the places bring us comfort and joy in the dark night. Darkness is metaphor for all painful and bad experiences in our lives like sickness, suffering, death, sin. The truth of Christmas is that into all of this darkness, God sheds light, if we believe in Jesus.
A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger
Jesus, the savior of the world did not come as a powerful ruler or leader, but was born in the lowliness of a manger. God offered us salvation in a way that is simple and accessible to all. It was Brother Francis of Assisi who made the first crib at Greccio, Italy, in 1223, in order to see "with human eyes," how the Child Jesus was laid to rest in a crib between the donkey and the ox. As St. Francis of Assisi says in his first Admonition, seeing his humanity "with human eyes," we believe in his divinity. The Babe in the manger is the savior of the world.
The centre of cosmos and history
Pope John Paul II described Jesus as “the centre of cosmos and history”. Literally, the computation of time began to be marked from his birth, recognizing in it the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies and promises, as well as the beginning of a new era. Hence, in Jesus there is a real history but also something that surpasses history.
We all know Jesus was born on this day and that’s why we celebrate Christmas. Jesus was born to bring Good News to the world. He brought the good news but are we carrying it on??? We go to church and then come back home to exchange gifts, a hearty meal to feast on and so on. But is the world trying to remove Christ out of ‘Christ’mas?
Christmas is just happy holidays for many developed nations; Christmas is just shopping for many businesses. For many others like the Christians in Kandhamal in Orissa, celebrating Christmas can mean a threat to their own existence. The Kui Samaj Seva Samity (Kui social service society) in Orissa has called for the shut down during December 24-27; North Korea is putting South Korea on notice, warning of “unexpected consequences” if Seoul displays Christmas lights near the border; US Christians are ‘warned’ that saying ‘Happy Christmas’ may offend someone!
“But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name” (Jn 1:12)
Prepared by Fr Jose Palakeel