And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:6-14)
So here we find ourselves this night, gazing upon this little Child. The Child that means peace and salvation for all. So innocent and helpless, and yet the Creator of the universe. Truly a miracle.
When this post is published, I will be sitting in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament with a friend, waiting for Midnight mass to commence (gotta love technology – I am actually writing this on the 23rd). I must admit that this Advent and now Christmas season has been full of ups and downs. There have been great joys and a few trials. Difficult decisions, and unremitting peace. This season has held special meaning for me in so many different ways, many of which I may not yet realize or understand.
But faced with this little Child before us, everything is naught, for here we find the true meaning of life.
Some see Christmas as a time for gift giving. Others see it as an opportunity to be with family and friends. Still others see it as a time to promote peace and unity. All of these are good and noble ideals behind the meaning of Christmas. But they only lead to the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ. In this small Child laying in the manger, we find the meaning of the entire universe.
But here’s the kicker: we need not realize the true meaning of Christmas only during this time of year! This Child is always with us. He remains with us through our successes and failures. He is there at our greatest heights, as well as our lowest depths. When we fall, this small Child remains with us, taking our place so that we may stand back up and draw closer to true Love.
The true meaning of Christmas is Love. The Love that is this Child, the Love that places itself on the Cross so that we may live. This is a Love that is fierce, passionate, and unrelenting. This is the Love that we must all strive towards, both in our journey towards God and neighbor. This Divine Love found in the Triune Life, seen this night in this small helpless Child, who also happens to be the Creator Himself, must overtake all of us; we must allow Him to overtake us, so that He may shine in all of our actions not only today, but every day of our lives.
Merry Christmas! Know that you remain in my prayers, and please pray for me as well.
Pax et bonum.