The Nativity of Our Lord

Today, a Savior is born to us.  We celebrate Jesus’ birthday in history not as a past event, but something that is on-going.  The nativity of our Lord goes beyond the limits of time and space.  It endures as a present reality in the world and in human hearts.

The Gospels speak with profound simplicity about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus that first Christmas (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20).  Yet within that humble experience is an astounding reality in which we discover the deepest truths about God and about ourselves.

We tend to think of God as so far beyond us – maybe so distant that he is not a part of our daily life.  Christmas is a time to renew our faith that in the Child of Bethlehem, “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).

The comfort we derive from Christmas is knowing that God has become one with us in the flesh – and there is a sublime purpose in the Lord taking on our human nature.  Because he was to be our Savior, Jesus “had to become like his brothers in every way” (Hebrews 2:17).  Furthermore, it is only in the mystery of the incarnate Word that the mystery of our human existence is comprehensible (Gaudium et Spes, 22).

As Saint John Paul II affirmed, “Through the Incarnation, God gave human life the dimension that he intended man to have from his first beginning” (Redemptor Hominis, 1).  That dimension is love.  By the creative and transformative power of his love, Jesus renews a wounded humanity and restores our harmony and friendship with God, fulfilling the divine plan that we might enjoy eternal life and happiness with him.  This same love gives meaning and direction to our lives – to experience and participate in love and make it felt in our world, in everyone we meet (Id., 10).

Rejoicing in the great blessing that came to us that holy night when a new light dawned upon the world and God became one with us, may you and all of us know and feel today and always the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Mary, the Savior of the world.  Merry Christmas!