The Mystery Is Revealed, And The Word Is Among Us!
Readings: (1st: Ish 52, 7-10; Ps: 97, 1-6; 2nd: Heb 1, 1-6; Gos: John 1, 1-18)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
“Sing a new song to the Lord for he has worked wonders…The Lord has made known his salvation…acclaim the King the Lord.” Today is Christmas day, the day we have long awaited and prepared for. Christmas is a milestone in the history of our salvation so it is wonderful to know that “God is with us” to save us. Today, God has proved the depth of his love for us by allowing his own son to be born of a virgin. The Word spoken of, and prophesied about long ago has finally taken flesh. The central message of today’s celebration is the incarnation and revelation of Jesus Christ.
Our first reading from Isaiah finds its sphere of accomplishment in the birth of Jesus Christ, His life and ministry. Therefore, it is a suitable biblical reading for a day like this. Isaiah proclaims: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one who brings Good News.” In deed the Good News himself is here with, and among us. The onus now lies on us to become “partners in progress”, by spreading the Good News. It is the Good News of love, peace, charity, hope, happiness and above all, it is a Good News of salvation. The call of the prophet today is a call to celebrate Emmanuel, God with us. It is a call to adore and worship the new born king and prince of peace. It is a call to be joyful, and a call to take the message about the birth of the Messiah to all and sundry.
In our second reading, the letter to the Hebrews captures, and presents what God did for us today in a most convincing and spectacular manner. The letter to the Hebrews simply reminds us that God has fulfilled the promise he made by revealing the hidden mystery of salvation. Now we are the favored ones. Revelation has reached its apogee today and the hidden mystery of the old covenant has finally been revealed in Jesus Christ.
The gospel of John gives us the synopsis of what happened today, the divine incarnation of God: “The Word was made flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His glory.” The Word which was with the Father as Spirit is now with us as flesh. While not losing His sacred or spiritual nature, he has condescended to become like us. He did this by taking flesh in a poor, humble, willing and lovely virgin. It takes love to do this. Therefore what we celebrate today is love because: “…God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son… (Jh 3, 16).
We must be ready to share this love. God sent Christ out of love, Christ accepted to come out of love, the messengers and prophets announced his coming out of love, and of course, out of love, Mary and Joseph cooperated with God to bring Him forth. So we must not snap the silver chain of love instead, instead, let us extend it to others. Therefore, this is a season we must be ready to offer ourselves to others. One thing we must do this season is that, just as Christ has reached out to us, we too must be ready to reach out to others too.
Today we celebrate Sacrifice. So, we too must be ready to sacrifice something for the good of our brothers and sisters as Christ did by leaving his heavenly throne in order to be with us. Just as Christ came down from heaven to be with us, and to show us the way, we must leave our highly exalted positions and comfort zones to reach out to the lowly, suffering and neglected of our society. Today we celebrate Humility. So, we must learn to be humble from Christ. In spite of being the king of the universe, he allowed himself to be born in a manger not minding the discomforts. Today, what we celebrate is the advent of the reign of peace. Peace not as the world gives, but as God promises to offer it to those who believe in him (Jh 14, 21).
Finally, what we celebrate today is hope because Christ’s birth is a great hope raiser for all who would sincerely believe in him. What this means is that, we must exercise great hope and faith, even though, our world is engulfed in wars, hatred, hunger, starvation, cyber attacks, kidnapping, maiming and killing of innocent children, bloodshed, modern slavery, oppression, injustice, tactical re-colonialism, and in fact, all forms of both natural and human made disasters. Today is a day of joy. So, I wish all of you my dear brethren a wonderful and fun filled celebration this joyful season. Therefore: “Sing psalms to the Lord with harp, with the sound of music, with trumpets and the sound of the horn, acclaim the King, the Lord” who is with us. Merry Christmas!
Peace be with you all!!