The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Merry Christmas! On this day, heaven and earth sing in exultation. A great Light has come into the world to scatter the darkness, a new day has dawned for all mankind – Christ our Savior is born in Bethlehem.
Pope Francis during the Canonization Mass here in Washington spoke of “the desire we all have for a fulfilling life, a meaningful life, a joyful life.” Gathered now in adoration around the little Child lying in the manger, our hearts rejoice because we know that in Jesus, our desire has been met beyond all imagining, we have found that blessed life.
From the very beginning of creation God, gracious and merciful, has made manifest his abounding love and fidelity. He has blessed us with the wonderful gift of our lives, of each other, and of our common home. This life is filled with so many joyful moments, but there are also times of difficulty and suffering. Yet as complex and confusing as life at times may seem, we are not left to darkness and gloom.
When our need for a Savior was great, our heavenly Father sent his Son to be born of the Virgin Mary, offering each of us the love that endures all things. The infant Jesus, born this happy morning, comes to bring glad tidings, to make what is good in our lives even better and to transform what is bad in our lives, to liberate us from all of the limitations of the human condition, heal us of our spiritual wounds, and even save us from death.
The special joy we feel this day is the recognition that God has remembered his people and made his face to shine upon us. Our good cheer derives from knowing that Jesus, the incarnation of mercy, is with us in our journey through life, giving us hope and joy, justice and peace. What a blessing this is.
But there is even more. God has become one of us, taking on our human nature so that we might become a new creation and share in his divine life – so that we might be transformed into Christ (CCC 460). Nothing could be more transformative, nothing could be more wonderful, than this “divinization” of the human person!
At the heart of Christmas is God’s love and mercy for humanity. This is the source of our everlasting joy and comfort. In this holy season and throughout this blessed Jubilee Year of Mercy, may you and the whole world rejoice in God’s love, mercy, hope and peace.