Christmas is a time to celebrate.  Different people may have different reasons to celebrate but for Christians the reason lies in the statement The Word became flesh and lives amongst us.  The Son of God took human form and identified himself with us in all things but sin.

To be human is to be blessed by this presence of the Son of God in our midst. It is a source of hope for humanity.  And that we surely need.

Some would say that a glance at the news headlines should make us wonder what there is to celebrate in this world of ours.  We read about violence and corruption, of the plight of the homeless and of refugees and many will be aware of personal tragedy and suffering in the lives of neighbours or family members.  How can we be in celebratory mood in the light of all of this?  Yet, that is what we are invited to do.

It is also true that the news headlines seldom tell us about the good things that are happening around the world.  And there are many good news stories to be told – of people who give of their time and talents to help others have a better quality of life, of parents who make huge sacrifices for their children, of people who live the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in a sustained way, of young people who interrupt their careers to work in social projects in the developing world.  There is much to be grateful for and much to celebrate in this context.  All these people, who do so much good, also need to have hope in their lives, hope that they will have the strength to continue on the path they have been following.

From a Christian point of view the source of hope for all of us, whatever our situation, is the Son of God made man.  He is the guarantor of our hope.  He is the one who enables us to have a genuine expectation that this world of ours can be a better place for everyone.  And that is a major reason to celebrate, to have hope in the possibility of a better future, no matter what the current circumstances are.

Let us celebrate then with much gratitude in our hearts.  Precisely because the Son of God became human we have every reason to have and to nurture hope in our lives.