The Solemnity of the Birth of our Lord was preceded by an intense preparation of the Advent season during which believers tried to enter into a journey of rebirth, of renewal and of revising one’s mentality and of viewing life and lifestyle according to the Gospel. It was indeed very challenging for each one to make an effort of discipline, sacrifice and detachment from the old ways of life to be able to celebrate truly, the long awaited festivity of Christmas.
If we really prepare ourselves to welcome the Son of God, the Emmanuel, peace and joy would reign in our hearts. The Peace that comes from the very experience of the Word made flesh will undoubtedly transform our outlook in life and consequently will lead us to be more attentive and docile to God’s message, to be more sensitive to the silent cry of our needy brothers and sisters, especially the poor and the powerless members of our society and it promptly makes us true collaborators in working together for the betterment of our Mother earth.
It is Christmas! The most awaited time has come. There are melodious Christmas songs and carols on the streets and houses, and the bright flickering of Christmas lights fill our surroundings with a festive atmosphere. But then, the real situations within and around us cannot be watered down and be overlaid with all the external Christmas manifestations of music, lights, more gifts and other goodies, etc. The celebration of Christmas will never become an automatic solution to one’s problems and difficulties, but it is a sure way of learning to live one’s life with all its lights and shadows, strengths and weaknesses in Jesus Christ who is born for us to give life to the fullest.
Every person thinks and reflects differently on the celebration of Christmas. There are those who have faith in the truth of Christmas, others have accepted it and welcome it in silence with the profound experience of their existence in hope and other groups of people, maybe in spite of their belief, are overpowered by its externalism without having full awareness of the real message of the Birth of the Son of God. This memorable event of our faith has to enhance and impel us to interrogate our very own journey and pilgrimage of faith towards the source and the central message of celebrating Christmas, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
If we truly focus our gaze on that baby lying in a manger and contemplate him with Mary and Joseph and be attentive to the every detail of that holy and silent night in Bethlehem, I would say that no one could remain indifferent to the message of that blessed and mysterious event. It is a challenge for everyone to live their lives as visible expressions of God’s love, shown to us in Bethlehem.
In the midst of the most sophisticated and consumerist world where faith and hope are not given importance and urgency, and where God may be placed in the level of human reasoning or He is being underscored and set aside, the witnessing of believers is vital. And during this time of Christmas, we are called to renew our life according to the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be witnesses of God’s love in the midst of struggles for justice and peace, and of violence and persecution by standing solidly with a firm and authentic Faith, with profound Hope and genuine Charity.
Nothing to be feared of, our Lord says: “Do not be afraid…I am with you…”. This is our sure hope. The “Emmanuel” will show us the way like a guiding Light enabling us to give witness to the unconditional love of the Father and His Kingdom.
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in his message for the World Day of Peace, wishes and urges us to believe and to be convinced of being the believers of Christ: “In the face of present difficulties, may Christ’s followers not lose heart, for witnessing to the Gospel is, and always will be, a sign of contradiction”. And in being a sign, we counteract through good deeds and by living our life in the light of Christian values and beliefs, as our Lord has shown to us.
I wish everyone, in this Christmas season, a profound conviction of being a believer of this God who gave himself because of His love towards his people. Let us go back to the Source, our Lord Jesus, and draw from Him new strength and enthusiasm to live our Christian life and to learn to love according to His standard. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mother M Elna Casimsiman fdz
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