C H R I S T M A S
CHRISTMAS means the Mass of Jesus Christ, it means that the invisible God manifests himself to humanity as a real and visible man for the salvation of humankind. Christmas is the apparition of God as baby, poor and weak.
Christmas, has nothing to do with commercialism or the business world, or the romanticism connected to the celebration at this time, for example, Christmas trees, candles, colorful lights, stars, gifts for children. For instance, so much is made of the story of Santa Claus (Saint Nicolas), but at Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift of all from God, which is his Son. Christmas is the revelation of the invisible God who was born and was made visible in the flesh, coming into this world, not as tourist or visitor but one who lives among us, for our salvation. JESUS CHRIST only is the real star… the light… the life... the Redeemer. Nm.24,17 ; Mt.2,2 ; Jn.1,4-5 ; 3,19 ; 8,12 ; 1Jn.1,5.
God promised to come to redeem us in Gen.3,15 and he did this through the teaching and witness of many prophets through the centuries before his coming. Gen.2,16-17 said that in the garden there was the ‘tree of knowledge’. Rv.22,2.14 speaks about the tree of Life. Jn.12,32 said : When I am lifted up from the earth I shall draw all to myself. The Angels were singing. The Magi saw a star…. Mt.2,2 All these things are just visible symbols of the invisible loving God who after a very long preparation, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Mt.1,18-25 ; Heb.1,1-2
When Jesus was born the Angels said to the shepherds: Do not be afraid; we are here to give you good news of GREAT JOY for all the people. Today a Saviour has been born… He is the Messiah and the Lord. Sing O heaven and rejoice O earth… For Yahweh has conforted his people and those who are afflicted. Is.49,13. He will bring joy and gladness… Through him many people will turn to God. Lk.1,14.16. In the Gospel of Lk. 2,8-11. and in Gen.3,15 before it….
God’s promise became a reality.
Very soon the word JOY, was transformed by the business world, to mean expensive gifts, Christmas dinner and material things.
Now, many people in Asia think that Christmas is just the beginning of the New Year. It is a time for vacations in exotic countries, time for joyful songs, drinking and many kinds of worldly pleasures.
But the reality of Christmas is very different. Jesus said that the real and only Joy will come from God who came to save us, to convert us and to free us from many sufferings. Mt.3,1-12 . The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the calf and the lion will feed together and the little infant will play with the cobra. The people will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation will train for war no more. Is.2,4 ; 11,6-8 ; Mi.4,3… The blind will see, the lame will walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are brought back to life. Mt.11,5. The Old and New Testament are giving us the same message. Until now it seems that these prophecies are like a dream in the night. In fact, after his birth, Jesus must escape to Egypt. When he goes back to Nazareth he was refused by the leaders of that time and at the end he died on the cross.
Mt.2,13-23 ; Lk.4,16-30. So EMMANUEL means God with us and God was physically present with us, but was not in the mind, heart and life of the people.
Every year we celebrate Christmas to remember that unique event of the coming of God, but we should understand the real mining of that event and to accept it for our salvation. Lk.7,29-30.