An elderly person was asked what was the meaning of Christmas for him.
“I look around and find so many things changing…
>> The dialer phone that itself was so rare and making a phone call was such a difficult thing…
… is today eased with the high-pace technology of mobile phones and even video calls!
>> The cyclostyle machine for printing and the stenography style of taking down notes…
… is shadowed today with 3D Printers and Speech-to-text softwares!
>> The long tapes of recorder cassettes and the oversized gramophone records that would play my favourite music as well as the news I heard on my old radio…
… are given a fresh face with internet music and satellite radio!
I see things changing all around me.
But one aspect that I can be completely convinced of is this: ‘Christmas – the Birth of Jesus, our Saviour – is an unchanging factor in this changing world’!”
Of course, we do have our arguments to say that the “celebration style” of Christmas has surely undergone drastic, dramatic (and in some cases, even dreadful!) changes.
But the fact remains that Christmas, which is primarily, the celebration of the Birth of Christ…
… is an unchanging factor in this changing world!
In this dramatically changing world, we are set to celebrate the Greatest Revolutions of all time – “Christmas”
This revolution started in the most unlikely places of all…
…In an ordinary stable – outside a forgotten village called Bethlehem.
It involved three simple persons on earth…
… Jesus, the Babe,
… Mary the Virgin Mother
… Joseph the Just Man
>> Hardly glamorous, significantly unnoticeable and glaringly simple people!
… the revolution that began from this Stable has had the greatest effect on humanity.
His birth was to ring in…
… a Political Revolution – Jesus being the King of the World!
… a Social Revolution – Unifying all classes and castes and races!
… an Economic Revolution – Bringing Hope to the poor and the oppressed!
… a Moral Revolution – Emphasizing on intentions of the heart and the mind!
… a Spiritual Revolution – Forgiveness and Salvation for all ready to receive Him!
Let us reflect on some simple, yet significant aspects of this “unchanging factor in our changing world” …
1. The beauty and the greatness of God’s Wisdom is to delight in insignificant things…
God loves to take simplicity in life, and decorate it with His Divine touch!
>> He feasts on ordinary situations and transforms them into amazing moments of Divine Experience!
>> He enjoys to descend into li’l hearts and converts them to glorious dwellings of His Divine Presence!
2. Joseph and Mary, went about place to place, inn to inn, looking for a birth place. (Lk 2:7)
It’s a Divine Paradox that the Creator of the entire Universe sought for a place to be born!
>> Am I ready to make my the “stable of my heart” ready to receive the Lord?
3. The Lord was born in a manger.
Wood was to escort Jesus, all through His Life…
>> The wooden manger would give Him shelter when He was born…
>> Wooden tools would accompany Him as He grew up as a carpenter…
>> Wooden boats will be His pulpit for preaching His Word on the Kingdom…
>> The wooden cross would be His instrument of Salvation and Redemption of the world…
The wooden manger is be a reminder to us that Christmas is the Season, not just of joy, but also of hardships and responsibilities in life!
4. Christmas is Christ + Mas(s) = the Mass of Christ…. the Sacrifice of Christ!
When we wish Happy Christmas, let’s also remember that the Crib & Cross are two sides of the great sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth.
In the Crib, Jesus descended from heaven and became weak and vulnerable.
>> On the Cross, Jesus embraced sinfulness of the earth and became helpless and miserable.
The Caravan from the Crib to the Cross is Celebrated and Commemorated at Christmas!
5. Jesus, the Divine Babe came primarily as the Saviour of the world
>> “For today in the city of David, a Saviour has been born for you..” (Lk 2:11)
>> Jesus came to the world with a very specific mission: to save people from sin and grant eternal life to those who believe in Him (Jn 10:10)
>> He is the only person Who took birth to die! It was by His death, that He was to achieve the mission of granting life to all.
>> Therefore, the celebration of Christmas has to be primarily a celebration made in “repentance and renewal”
If the heart doesn’t repent, then Christmas can never be celebrated truly!
Christmas is the story of a God passionately in love with us, and deeply desiring that we belong to Him, and Him alone!
6. Jesus, the Divine Babe deserves a wonderful gift on His Birthday
Birthdays become occasions to gift the one who is celebrating.
>> Jesus, the Birthday Baby surely deserves the best gift.
But what can we give Him?
>> All what we have and all what we are, comes from God anyways!
So is there anything, that I can call of my own?
Probably the only thing which belongs to me, is my sin!
This Christmas, beyond all other gifts and preparations, we could gift our “sinful life” to Him.
>> It might feel bad for us to give all that ugly part of our life.
But our Blessed Lord invites us to give of our self to Him entirely – broken, weak, dirty, impure, lost- as we are, to Him, so that He can renew us and make us a new person (Rev 21:5 – “Behold, I make all things new”)
As Bishop Fulton J Sheen says:
“You give me your humanity, I will give you my divinity.
>> You give me your time, I will give you my eternity.
>> You give me your slavery, I will give you my freedom.
>> You give me your death, I will give you my life.
>> You give me your nothingness, I will give you my all.”
7. Carols will be sung in great festivity on this special day.
There were two types of Carols sung on Christmas Day when Jesus was born.
>> The Carols of Joy when the Angels sang in deep acclamation and mirth – “Glory to God”!
>> The Carols of Pain when the mothers cried in deep pain for their li’l babes who were executed!
There are two types of Carols song even today in our world…
>> The Carols of Joy – people uniting for social justice; hearts turning to the Lord in true contrition; people expressing care & love etc
>> The Carols of Pain – the number of terrorizing acts around the world; families, societies and even churches divided because of money, language, race, caste; increased sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness in life…etc.
Carols ought to remind us of these two aspects… Joy and Pain in life!
When carols of Joy and Pain in life, are sung with Confidence in the Lord, we will be blessed to sing the Carol of Celebration on the Day of Salvation!
8. Christmas is a great time of celebration – but let us never forget Christ
The celebration of the Birth of Baby Jesus demands space in our hearts!
Let us take utmost care that during this Christmas, Jesus, the Tiny and Tender Babe does not get…
… drowned in the avalanche of cakes and sweets
… buried in the frenzy of shopping and decorations
… drunk in the dirt of revelry and partying
… lost in the celebrations with Santa Claus and exchanging of gifts
Rather, let us make sure that Jesus, the precious and beautiful infant…
… is held close to the heart and given a pledge of our life and love
… is lavished with kisses of our true promises and renewed consecration
… is showered with true smiles of our Love for Him, His Word, His Eucharist & His Church
Yes, Jesus is…and He alone is…and ought to be… the Reason for this Season!
>> May He be born, not just in the crib in houses or church, but in our Hearts and Lives!
Happy Birthday to our Dearest and Beloved Baby Jesus!
>> Congratulations to our Blessed Mamma for Her “Yes” and to Blessed Joseph for his care!
A Blessed and a Holy Christmas to all of us!
God Bless! Live Jesus….always!