Christmas 2017

And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us…

It must be near impossible to be unaware that the Christmas season is upon us. Who or what is really attracting our attention in regard to Christmas? It could be the wall to wall commercial advertising about the great bargains and the wonderful new appliances now available. It may be the rush, even the frenzy, of sending cards or of decorating the house and putting the presents under the tree. And with that goes the anxiety that somebody has been forgotten and the ensuing diplomatic shuffle. All of the above is part and parcel of life at this time of year. However, it does not go to the core of the meaning of Christmas for a community of the faithful.

For Christians the essential thing about Christmas is the certainty of God’s love for humanity. It is about celebrating the great truth that the Son of God took human form, became a human person. Jesus was born of Mary of Nazareth.

While they were there the time came for her to have her child and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.

To recall and commemorate the birth of Jesus is certainly a festive occasion because it was such an important event with far reaching effects in all of our lives. Jesus came to fulfil a mission which was to announce the Good News of God’s love, mercy and compassion for all of humankind. He was to be the Saviour of humankind. In this way Christmas binds all of us together because each and every one of us has a link to Jesus.

As he lived out his mission, Jesus displayed a very definite concern for the poor and the deprived. It is not a mere coincidence that the shepherds who were tending their flocks were the first ones to hear the news of the birth of the Saviour. Shepherds were poor and humble people.

Many of us are looking forward to a good celebration and that is fine. However, that celebration will ring hollow if in the course of our lives we are indifferent to the suffering of others, of those who are on the margins of society, be they the hungry, the homeless, the addicted, refugees, the broken families, migrants or whoever.

By all means let us celebrate at Christmas, but let us not lose sight of the mission of the Son of God made man because that mission is now our mission.

May Christmas be a time of blessing for all and may 2018 bring great joy to the life of each one.