Today, you may be reading this reflection after an online Mass or you might have got the opportunity to attend mass at your parish church. – but it feels like an entirely new experience. This Christmas Day feels so different. To some it may seem weird, to some cold, to some in isolation much more lonely and to some joyful.
However, let us take a walk with the shepherds and the Magi to visit the infant Jesus laid in his manger. The Shepherds were awakened from their sleep by angels singing in the Heavens while the Magi were roused in their study of the stars inspired that something was unfolding. They were led by a star to the abode of the Saviour.
Today what is the call in your heart? Can you hear the invitation of the Holy Spirit stirring your heart to rise up in celebration because something beautiful is unfolding and there is hope.
This invitation is echoed in the reading from Isaiah 52: 7-10 where though the people of Jerusalem are in captivity, the watchmen on the towers can see messengers of hope running towards them with good news. Though these messengers have run a long way and their feet must be dusty, to the people watching, even those feet are beautiful because they bring good news. St. John the Baptist would have also looked shoddy and unshaven with rough feet but he turned out to be a similar messenger bringing the good news of the arrival of the Saviour of the world.
It was the practice of ancient warriors to lift their sleeve and bare their arms before they used their swords. Isaiah shows God in the same light baring his arm and claiming victory for His people with the good news.
Who is this child in the manger? – The shepherds and magi were in¬vited to gaze upon a tiny baby in the company of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the animals. Who were they looking at?
John Chapter 1 tell us that He is the Word in the beginning with God. More importantly – All things were made through Him and without Him nothing came to be. Whatever has come to be, found life in him; life which for human being was also light.
Let us repeat these words – whatever has come to be, found life in him – Nothing has been created without our Lord Jesus speaking them into being. Think of Joe Biden, think of our Cricket team. think of the whales, the Yala leopards, the reptiles – all of these came to life when our Lord Jesus spoke them into being.
In fact Christmas is a day when our eternal God chose to slip into life on this earth, choosing a still ancient time when modern life and comforts were a long way off. The word also says that the life that He brought was light in our darkness and that darkness could not overcome.
Our Lord’s birth is our invitation to be born again with a new approach to life and faith.
He is my light, and darkness cannot overcome this light. He is greater than anything I might be facing. Nothing has come into being without my Jesus willing them or allowing them to be. My best friend, my worst enemy, my darkest sin, my deepest challenge are all subject to Him.
Secondly, to all who received Him, he empowers them to become children of God, for they believe in His name. Today is not only Jesus’ birthday but it is also my day of adoption. My identity shifts from be-ing a child of my earthly parents to that of a child of the Father. I am empowered and made new. I am called by a new name and given a heavenly mission. I am no longer born of flesh but born of God.
Thirdly, I can now experience not a God of law and anger but a God of the fullness of truth and loving kindness.
A few months ago in Cleveland Ohio, a person named Jeff Fusco contacted Covid-19 and was on his death-bed. His loved ones came to him and spoke words of release. Suddenly he found himself in the embrace of God. It was a moment of immense love. And then he was asked to return. He says he felt such a comfort and peace and now to him, nothing matters anymore than eternal life. When you see Baby Jesus today, remember he is offering you light in your darkness, a new identity and a world of deep love and comfort. Offer Him your life, fall at His feet, worship Him and you will be saved.
Prayer: Abba Father, today I want to be held in your arms of love that your light might shine in my darkness. Amen.