Christmas

Today we rejoice at the birth of Our Savior.  Today we celebrate the fact that over two thousand years ago our God took our human nature upon Himself and was born as a little baby, in a manger.  What a wondrous event.  Almighty God became man.  He Who had no beginning and will have no end took on a human nature: a nature that could suffer and die.  The same infinite God Who holds all things together in being, in Whom all things live and move and have their being, dwelt for nine months in the womb of the Virgin Mary and was born in Bethlehem.  The Creator of the universe and everything in it humbled Himself and took on our broken, fallen humanity in order to redeem it.

From the very beginning, right after the Fall of our First Parents, God promised to send us a Redeemer.  Throughout the Old Testament God renewed His promise again and again.   In the Old Testament God spoke to His chosen people in partial and various ways; in the fullness of time, God sent His own Son: born of the Virgin Mary.  Jesus Christ fully reveals God to us.  There is no further message to wait for: Jesus Christ is the definitive revelation of God.  In the humanity that Christ assumed, God is made visible.  Through Jesus Christ we have access to the Father.

The Father sent His Son as Our Savior in order that we might have life and have it in abundance.  We were made for union with God.  Ever since sin entered the world, that union with God has been impossible; because of the Fall of our First Parents the entire human race was doomed to be eternally frustrated.  We were made for union with God, but sin makes union with God impossible because God and sin cannot abide together.  Sin is the choice to turn away from God.  Because of sin, we are incapable of fulfilling the purpose for which we were created; and we cannot redeem ourselves.

Jesus Christ became man in order to set us free from this separation from God.  By their disobedience, Adam and Eve lost God’s friendship for the entire human race.  Jesus Christ came to restore that friendship with the Father: Jesus paid the debt that we all owe due to sin.  Jesus took on a human nature that could suffer and die in order to take the punishment that we all deserve upon Himself.  He became a man, like us in all things except for sin, in order to redeem us from our fallen state.  He descended from His place at the Right Hand of the Father so that we might ascend with Him back to the Father.  The Eternal Son of God came to earth so that we might attain Heaven.  He took on our human nature and He shares with us His divine life.  God took our fallen humanity upon Himself and in return offers us a share in His divine nature.

God became man so that we might become like God.  God created us for Himself.  He wants us to be perfectly united to Himself; He wants to transform our hearts to become more and more like the Sacred Heart of His divine Son.  Love desires union.  The problem is that sin separates us from God.  In order to restore us to that abundant life for which we were created, Jesus Christ became a man, He suffered and died for us.  Jesus Christ gave us the Church and the Sacraments so that we could have access to the divine life that He won for us on the Cross.  Through Baptism, we become children of God.  At our Baptism, we received divine life into our souls; we became temples of the Holy Spirit.  Through the Eucharist God continues to feed us with Himself.  Jesus Christ allowed His body to be broken and His blood to be shed for us upon the Cross and He gives Himself totally to us Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion.  Every time we receive Holy Communion, we are intimately united with our God.  We are never so close to our God on this earth as we are right after we have worthily received Him in Holy Communion.  God wants to share His divine life with us, but we have to make room in our hearts to receive Him.

When Our Savior was born all those many years ago there were not many there to welcome Him.  He came to His own, and His own received Him not.  We have to make sure that our hearts are ready to welcome Him; we ought to always receive Holy Communion with as much love and devotion as we can stir up in our hearts.  God wants to give us His divine life, His desire is that we be transformed and bear His image ever more perfectly, but we have to do our part.  Jesus Christ became a man to show us the way to the Father; He was born in order to reveal God to us: Jesus Christ enables us to see that God IS love.  Jesus is God in flesh; He is the standard for which we are all to strive.  May we all celebrate His Birth with joy; let us receive the gift that our God wants to give to us: the gift of Himself; and may we allow Him to transform our hearts and fill them with His divine life, His peace and His love.  Merry Christmas!

 

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