As I am reflecting on this Christmas season, I see the reality of Christ’s incarnation – that he became one of us, in our frailty, vulnerability and fears. This incarnation, the Word became flesh, can give us much joy and courage, because God is incarnate to be with us, Emmanuel.
Pope Francis recently wrote: “Christmas is the feast of love incarnate and born for us in Jesus Christ. He is the light of [humankind] shining in the darkness, giving meaning to human existence and to the whole of history.” The Word became flesh, God incarnate, means that God has chosen to be vulnerable, to be frail so that God can be with us, so that we can be included in God’s household.
“This gift of grace we receive through the simplicity and humanity of Christmas, can remove from our hearts and minds the pessimism, which has spread even more today due to the pandemic,” Pope Francis said.
With more courage, we can face this pandemic and the subsequent health, social and economic impacts, how they have and will still continue to affect many people worldwide. With more courage, we can renew and refresh our Christian faith that sees Christmas much more than a sentimental or consumerist festival, full of gifts and good wishes. Instead we can courageously desire, or at least ask God for the desire, to live our Christian faith with a more incarnate attitude, more inclusive of others.
When God’s promise of Emmanuel has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ – we can be certain that God is with us and God will continue to be with us. We can allow God to turn our fears, our frailty and our vulnerability into joy and courage. We also help each other to do the same. I wish you a blessed and safe Christmas
Fr Eka Tanaya SJ
Homily for Christmas Day 2020 at St Ignatius’ Church
Richmond Catholic Parish, Victoria, Australia