- Dec 24, 2013Merry ChristmasBrothers and Sisters, we gather once again on this festive season to celebrate the reason for the season. Christ is the reason for the season as proclaimed in Matthew foretold by the prophet Isaiah “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel” which means “God is with us.” The bond we share is our kinship to Christ whose birthday we celebrate on the 25th of December. He is “King of Glory” as we sing in the Psalms. The earth in its fullness has been given to Him. He has come to establish a kingdom which will have no end (Psalm 89:4-5)What founder of any modern religion was preannounced for centuries before his coming and yet came in a very humble way? The birth that started a new era for the world took place not in a palace but in a little dwelling in Bethlehem. Our God entered the world in poverty as there was “no room for him in the inn”. The creator of the universe could not find room in his own creation. He settled for the stable which was for the ignored and forgotten. Divinity is always where we least expect. He was born of the Virgin Mary as our Creed reminds us. Thanks to Mary’s fiat and her “fullness of Grace”, Christ was born sinless. He had to be sinless so He Himself would not need redemption but will be our redeemer. He got something from His Father’s side – His divinity and something from His mother’s side, His humanity.How jealous we are of the lowly shepherds who in their ordinary labor had front row seats to the glory of God and birth of the king who will save the world. The mighty religious leaders in Jerusalem or the politicians in Herod’s palace were spared this privilege. God became man for us. The starkness and poverty of the manger reveal the extent to which God is willing to go in order to save humanity. As late Bishop Fulton Sheen puts it, even if you were the only one in this world, Christ will go through all that trouble just to save you. Without him, we are the poor ones – abandoned and lost. He came to cleanse us in His blood and lift us by His spirit. This is the true Christmas gift.In the Eucharist, the everlasting Covenant is renewed in the Advent promise of virgin with Child –God is with us which continues till the end of the age. The Eucharist is merely a continuation of what happened in Bethlehem. What was once in Mary’s womb is now within us – Emmanuel.Merry Christmas.Tobias Fonge.
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