“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Finally, here comes the day we have all been waiting for, the one day that always stands out from all other days in the year, the birthday of Jesus Christ. There is no better way to celebrate Jesus Christ than to gather in His House to pray, to listen to Him, to sing, to dance, to worship, and very importantly, to share the Eucharistic banquet.
The book of Hebrews today tells us that in many and various ways, God spoke to our Fathers through the prophets but in these lasts, God has spoken to us by a Son. In other words, by giving us His Son Jesus Christ, God has spoken to Humanity in a rather concrete and definitive manner. As John explains in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus Christ is that Word of God that was with God in the beginning “and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3) and this Word, Jesus Christ eventually “became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…” (John 1:14).
If by giving us Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, God spoke, the question we ask ourselves now is what was the message? What is God trying to say to us by incarnating Himself in our human flesh?
a. I LOVE YOU. In Jesus, we can hear God saying to mankind: “I care deeply about you and I am ready to do anything for your sake.” St. John puts it very beautifully when he wrote: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17).
Christmas is such a wonderful love story. God’s own way of vocalising “I Love You” was by giving us the greatest gift ever; the gift of His Son; Jesus Christ. It doesn’t end there; God did not give us Jesus as some pet or doll to look at, God gave us Jesus Christ to die for us. Could there be any better way of saying: “I Love You.”?
b. I AM REAL. In Jesus, God is saying to mankind: “Look at me. You can touch me, hold me, and talk to me. I am not just a figment of your imagination. I am for real.” In Jesus, God shows His Face to mankind. It is not easy to believe in the existence of a God that is invisible and seems to be so far away from our planet. Thomas doubted but he saw with his own eyes, he exclaimed: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). In today’s Gospel passage, St. John says: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (John 1:18).
At Christmas, God speaks to us saying: “I am not far away, I am here, I am real and I rule over the world.” This is exactly what the prophet Isaiah conveys in today’s first reading: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7)
c. I AM GENTLE, HUMBLE, AND ACCESSIBLE. By choosing to come as a baby (not a warrior with an army) and by choosing to be born to poor people under poor circumstances (not in a palace of gold), and by making Himself so vulnerable (such that Joseph had to flee at night with the baby Jesus for safety from Herod), I think God was concretely saying to mankind: “Love me, don’t be so frightened about me, I am close to you.” Jesus drives home the point better when He says: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).
At Christmas, God is saying to us: “Come to me as you would come to a baby, I will not hurt you.” Perhaps, you cannot remember the last time you prayed. Start today. Start to talk to God again. Don’t be scared. Carry this child in your arms and talk to Him.
Bible Study: Isaiah 52:7-10, Ps.98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18