Dear Friends in Jesus Christ, Merry Christmas to you all!!!
As I have been reminding you throughout the Advent Jesus is the biggest gift that the world ever received and he is the gift that we ever can have in our personal life. And our hearts are the best gift. On this great celebration of Christmas, we recall Jesus being constricted for love of us: Jesus, Son of God and Eternal Word of God, Whom the universe cannot contain, is constricted in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus, through whom all things came into being, accepts the constraints and limitations of a human body. After birth, Jesus was “wrapped in swaddling clothes”. These clothes encircled His body, constricting Him. The Baby Jesus was hunted down by the government. His family fled to Egypt. He was constricted through life as a Refugee in a land far from His home. Jesus was constricted on the cross, the Almighty God pressed to its wood by a few nails. Jesus was constricted again by swaddling clothes. His burial cloths were wrapped around His immobile body. After dying, the body of Jesus was constricted in a tomb. Why did Jesus submit to these constrictions for our sake? Because he is love, “God is Love”, and love endures all things.
Have you heard the news today – the “good news” of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and son of Mary who was born for us in Bethlehem? He is born on earth to tell us how much he loves us. The first to hear the good news of the savior’s birth were not the rulers and religious leaders of Israel who were robed in riches and power. The angels first came to those who were humble and ready to receive the newborn king who was born in poverty and was now lying in a manger made for animals. Just as God had chosen and anointed David, a lowly shepherd of Bethlehem to become the shepherd-king of Israel, so Jesus, likewise chose the path of humility and lowliness in coming to Israel as the good shepherd-king who would lay down his life for their sake and salvation. After the angels had sung their hymn of glory in the presence of the shepherds, the shepherds made haste to adore the newborn king and sing their hymn of glory as well. The Word became flesh to show us the infinite love and tender mercy of God for us sinners. In the feast of Christmas we celebrate present realities – Jesus Christ our redeemer who reigns in heaven and who also lives and reigns in our hearts through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit. And we commemorate past events – the birth of the newborn Messiah King and his manifestation to Israel and to the gentile nations. We thank and bless God for the way in which he has saved us from the power of sin and the curse of death and destruction by sending his Son to ransom us and give us pardon and abundant life through the gift and working of the Holy Spirit. Today we celebrate the birthday of our King and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants to fill our hearts anew with joy and gratitude for the greatest gift he could possibly give us – his beloved Son Jesus. Jesus came to release the captives from slavery to sin and to open the gates of paradise once again. This day the Holy Spirit invites us to make haste – as the shepherds of Bethlehem did – to adore Jesus our King and Messiah. This day the whole community of heaven joins with all believers of good will on earth in a jubilant song of praise for the Good News proclaimed by the angels on Christmas. The joy of Christmas is not for a day or a season. It is an eternal joy, a joy that no one can take from us because it is the joy of Jesus Christ himself made present in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. The Lord gives us a supernatural joy which no pain nor sorrow can diminish, and which neither life nor death can take away.
Let us pray, “Lord our God, with the birth of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, your glory breaks on the world. As we celebrate his first coming, give us a foretaste of the joy that you will grant us when the fullness of his glory has filled the earth.”
God Bless You,