Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), December 25
May You and I, on This Most Special and Awesome Event, in Which the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Took Flesh upon Himself so That He Could Be One with Us, Open Our Hearts to What Christmas Should Truly Mean to Each and Every One of Us in Our Daily Lives.
“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”
On this most awesome day, we open our hearts to celebrate the Birth of the Christ Child, God who became one with us more than two thousand years ago – not in glory, not in eternal splendor. Rather, He became one with us in humility and in poverty.
I remember reading an article about an old priest who was spending his Christmas visiting the wounded many years ago during the Korean War. He had come upon a very young soldier whose spine had been shattered by a bullet.
The young soldier was lying face down in a canvas cradle, with a round hole cut in the bottom of the cradle for his face. In his suffering, all he could see was the floor. Thousands of miles from home, and fearing he would never walk again, he felt completely alone, cut off from the entire world as he stared at that floor hour after hour.
When the old priest approached him and introduced himself as the Catholic chaplain, the young soldier talked to the priest in a hushed tone, and asked softly, “Father, could I see your face? I feel so alone. It would help me a lot, if I could just see your face, just for a little while.”
And so, carefully, with aching joints, the old priest got down on his knees, rolled over on his back, and ever so slowly inched his way under the cradle till at last the young man could see him face-to-face, and know, for at least a little while, that he was not alone.
When we look at our own lives in this frantic world in which we live today, it is easy for us to find ourselves very much like this young soldier – with a longing deep within us to know and truly believe that we are not alone in this world, as we stumble through the cold and the dark trying to find our way through our own individual vales of tears in which we oftentimes find ourselves traveling.
In the anxieties of life which confront us, we long for peace and harmony in our lives; we long for love and consolation; we long to see our Heavenly Father face-to-face, and to know for sure that we are not alone – that God is truly with us.
We long for His Love, we long for His warmth; we long for His Light and His strength.
And now, on that Most Holy Night when Christ was born long ago, our deepest longing is fulfilled and our dreams have been realized. For as we look upon that tiny Face in the manger, we know, at last, what God is really like: He is the One who loves us with a Love beyond all understanding; He is the One who loves us with a Love that is beyond all manner of human description, and He holds nothing back!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
As you and I gaze upon the manger and behold this Most Holy Child – and as we know the Man He will become – we know in our hearts that we will never be alone or cold or afraid again. For God’s Son, Only-Begotten of Eternal Nature, Mary’s Son born of the flesh, our Brother Jesus and our Dearest Friend, has come to light our way and dispel our darkness; He has come to give warmth to the coldest of hearts, and to show us, His children, the way to our Eternal Home.
And He has come to feed and nourish us in our spiritual hunger, giving us the strength to endure whatever trials or tribulations we may experience in this journey which we are traveling on this side of Heaven.
It is no coincidence that the Eternal Word made flesh was placed in a manger. For what was a manger? It was a feeding trough for animals. From the very beginning, God’s Presence among us was symbolically feeding us with His Truth!
In the fragility and weakness of a Newborn Babe, God was feeding us with His Love. And in this poorest of surroundings, being born in a stable for animals, the Infant Jesus was teaching us one of the greatest Truths of God. This Truth is spoken of many times in Sacred Scripture, but may be best summed up in the words we find in the First Letter of Peter:
“…all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’” And in the Psalms, we read, “A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.”
Pride, arrogance, self-importance – all these keep one’s soul apart from God and plunges that soul into darkness. Through the Birth of Jesus, the Eternal Father taught us, His children, the importance of humility and simplicity of heart – for it is such that He desires in each of us.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.”
Through this Child, through this gift of Divine Love, which was the Father’s first Christmas Gift to the world, we are each filled with a new light. By the coming of the Eternal Word among us, we are each filled with a new hope.
Through God’s indescribable Love for His children, the Eternal Father fulfilled His promises to man by sending us His Only-Begotten Son, who freely set aside the awesome nature of His Divinity so as to take upon Himself our human nature, with all of its weaknesses except sin, so as to give Himself completely, even to the point of the horrific suffering and abject humiliation of the Cross, so that He may teach us, His children, of God’s indescribable and infinite Love and Mercy.
In so doing, you and I have been reconciled to the Eternal Father for all eternity. And in this reconciliation, we have been given new hope – a hope that is enduring, a hope which is eternal! For it is in the Birth of Jesus Christ wherein we find our hope which the world cannot give. And in His Birth, we find our lasting peace and joy.
May this day, in which we celebrate the Birth of our Savior, be the day in which we begin to renew our personal friendship and our intimate relationship with the God who created us out of Love and saved us through Love.
May this day be the moment in which we look at the faith which our Lord freely offers us as His most profound Christmas Gift to both you and me, so that we may truly realize one day the invitation to which He extends to each of us – a share in His own Eternal Life.
And may you and I, on this most special and awesome event, in which the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity took flesh upon Himself so that He could be one with us, open our hearts to what Christmas should truly mean to each and every one of us, His children – that God loves us infinitely and that His Son, Jesus Christ, truly IS our Eternal Hope and our only salvation!
From the very depths of my heart, I wish you and all your loved ones a very joyous and Holy Christmas, and may God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
- “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: …I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.’” (2 Samuel 7:5a, 12b-13)
- “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: I will make your dynasty stand forever and establish your throne through all ages.” (Psalm 89:4-5)
- “The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people’s homage.” (Genesis 49:10)
- “Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
- “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah least among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times…He shall take his place as shepherd by the strength of the LORD…his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth: he shall be peace.” (Micah 5:1, 3a, 3c-4a)
- “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:15)
- “…a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.” (Isaiah 11:1-3)
- “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.” (Galatians 4:4-5)
- “In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Prayer for the Day
“Almighty God and Father of Eternal Light,
a Child is born for us and a Son is given to us.
Your Eternal Word came down from Heaven
in the silent watches of the night,
and now Your Church is filled with wonder
at the nearness of her God.
“Open our hearts to receive His life
and increase our vision with the rising of dawn,
that our lives may be filled with His glory and His peace,
for He lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”Anonymous