The angel sets the mood for Christmas by his announcement to the shepherds, read on Christmas night: “Do not be afraid; for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Indeed, we have the reason to rejoice for in this mystery of Christmas we experience God’s great love expressed in the solidarity with humanity.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us
- Isaiah 52: 7–10
- Hebrews 1: 1–6
- John 1: 1–14
Has he found a place among us?
During four weeks of Advent we prepared ourselves to welcome the Messiah. Today we celebrate his arrival, he’s there with us. But, has Jesus found a place in us and among us?
Indeed, it’s touching to see the poor conditions in which the son of God is born. So we talk about his humility and his closeness to the poor. That’s true. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t end there, rather, we should ask: how did Jesus find himself born in the stable? It’s because his parents couldn’t find decent place to welcome them. Have things changed?
At this Christmas, can Jesus find a decent and welcoming place in my heart and in my home? So whatever pre-occupations I may have for this day I should care to check: in all my agitations for this day, all the unusual expenses that have incurred during this Christmas; where’s Jesus in all that?
God comes close to wounded humanity
At Christmas we celebrate God who becomes one among us and shares our human condition in order to help us up. St Ireneaus expresses this strikingly by saying: “God became man so that man can become God.” Indeed, God created human beings in his image and likeness. It’s the vocation of human beings to radiate this divine image. Unfortunately, wounded and disfigured by sin human beings became ashamed of themselves. They couldn’t walk with their head high. They hid themselves. When God asks Adam, that is, humanity: “Where are you?” He responds, “I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid so I hid myself.” But God does not abandon humanity in the loneliness of shame.
He becomes human and thereby affirms the beauty of humanity; it’s like he’s saying: I’m not ashamed to be like you. Christ, the light for which John the Baptist came as witness, illumines us so that we can see and appreciate better our beauty. That’s a great gesture of solidarity we celebrate at Christmas. We celebrate great love out-pouring to those who are wounded. That leads us to another question that we ought to ask ourselves.
Christmas in solidarity with others
How do I, through this Christmas, express God’s solidarity to humanity? Do the poor and vulnerable persons find a place in my celebration?
It’s very easy to decorate a little corner of my house for a Christmas crib. I place there the statuettes with great devotion and incense them. And I’m very much at easy with them because they don’t disturb me, they don’t ask me for anything.
The baby Jesus we are celebrating at this Christmas is certainly not in that little corner that I have decorated. He’s in the poor, in the vulnerable, in the lonely –in the ordinary people I meet on the street. Am I ready to incense this Jesus in those poor folks?
In the mystery Christmas we celebrate God who comes to join us in our brokenness. And to live fully this mystery of love we should also think of being messengers of God’s solidarity to those who are hungry, depressed and wounded in many different ways.
I thank you Lord for you are not ashamed of me despite my wounds of sin. Help me with your grace so that I may extend your loving solidarity to the wounded person I find on my way.
I wish you the joy and peace of Christmas!
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