CHRISTMAS REFLECTION HOMILY:
GOD’S HUMILITY, POVERTY, SELF-ABASEMENT &
IMMENSE LOVE FOR US
“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 clothes and lying in a manger (Luke 2: 11-12).”
Dear friends: After a 4-week preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord, we have finally arrived at the commemoration of THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND: THE SON OF GOD, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BECAME MAN.
This “reveals to us GOD-WITH-US, THE GOD CLOSE TO US AND NOT MERELY IN THE SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL SENSE; HE IS CLOSE TO US BECAUSE HE HAS, AS IT WERE, “ESPOUSED” OUR HUMANITY; HE HAS TAKEN OUR CONDITION UPON HIMSELF, CHOOSING TO BE LIKE US IN ALL THINGS SAVE SIN IN ORDER TO MAKE US BECOME LIKE HIM.
Christian joy thus springs from this certainty: GOD IS CLOSE, HE IS WITH ME, HE IS WITH US, IN JOY AND IN SORROW, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, AS A FRIEND AND FAITHFUL SPOUSE. And THIS JOY ENDURES, EVEN IN TRIALS, IN SUFFERING ITSELF. It does not remain only on the surface; IT DWELLS IN THE DEPTHS OF THE PERSON WHO ENTRUSTS HIMSELF TO GOD AND TRUSTS IN HIM (Benedict XVI, Angelus, December 16, 2007).”
If the fact that God is with us is extraordinary and astounding in itself, EVEN MORE ADMIRABLE IS THE SELF-ABASEMENT, THE LOWERING OF GOD, COMING TO US AS A CHILD. “It is in the child Jesus that we see most clearly THE DEFENSELESSNESS OF GOD’S LOVE. GOD COMES WITHOUT WEAPONS, BECAUSE HE DOES NOT WANT TO CONQUER FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT TO WIN US OVER FROM WITHIN AND TO TRANSFORM US FROM WITHIN. If anything can conquer the arrogance, the violence, and the greed of man, it is THE UTTER VULNERABILITY OF A CHILD: AND GOD HAS TAKEN ON THIS VULNERABILITY IN ORDER TO CONQUER US IN THIS MANNER AND TO LEAD US TO HIMSELF (Card. Joseph Ratzinger, “The Blessing of Christmas”).
God could have entered the world in the midst of glory, self-affirmation, pomp and ostentation: but no, He chose the silent humility and poverty of a manger, in an unknown village and under miserable conditions, with no other possession than the loving arms of Mary and St. Joseph.
- HIS IMMENSE LOVE FOR MANKIND CHOSE THE PATH OF HUMILITY, OF SELF-ABASEMENT IN ORDER TO SHOW US THAT LOVE AND SELF-ABNEGATION GO HAND IN HAND.
- He chose the path of humility and poverty in order to free us from our pride and to show us that all He wants from us is our love. “He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. HE WANTS SOMETHING INTIMATE, WHICH WE HAVE TO GIVE HIM FREELY: ‘MY SON, GIVE ME YOUR HEART.’ Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. IT’S NOT OUR THINGS HE WANTS. IT IS OURSELVES. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord.
(St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, n.35).”
- With Our Lord becoming man, HE SHOWED US A WAY TO FOLLOW, A MODEL TO IMITATE, TEACHING US HOW TO BE HUMAN IN ORDER TO BE DIVINE. Jesus “divinized” and converted all the human realities -family life, work, social dealings, tiredness, etc.- into a path of holiness, into a path which leads to heaven.
- As a defenseless child lying in a manger only suited for animals, Our Lord teaches us that the ultimate meaning of our life does not consist in material wealth but rather in doing God’s Will right from the start. And what is God’s will for us? OUR HOLINESS.
- LOVE BEGETS LOVE and holiness is all about putting and loving God above all things, and loving others in through and with our love for God. Could you just imagine how painful it is when your love is not corresponded to by the one you love?
Dear Baby Jesus, even if you are unable to speak, you teach us a lot of things. In the presence of Our Lady and St. Joseph, I want to kiss, caress, hug and hold you tight in my arms while I THANK you once more for all the things you have done for us: for your GOODNESS, LOVE AND MERCY!
I also want to ask you PARDON for all the times I remained indifferent to your closeness and presence and at the same time ASK THE HELP OF YOUR GRACE so that I may grow more in love with you, making you happy and the people around me as well, not only with words but with daily deeds, TURNING ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVENTS OF MY LOVE INTO OPPORTUNITIES TO SEEK YOU, FIND YOU AND LOVE YOU.
I want to give you not only my love, but my heart, my will: my entire life! That I may never lose you and that I may always have you in my soul, renouncing myself more each day so that your love in me would grow.
For us Christians, if we live this way, EACH DAY COULD AND SHOULD BE ADVENT, COULD AND SHOULD BE CHRISTMAS; BECAUSE, THE MORE WE STRIVE TO PURIFY OURSELVES, THE MORE WE GIVE ROOM FOR GOD’S LOVE IN OUR HEART, THE MORE CHRIST WOULD COME AND BE BORN IN US. (Cf. St. John Paull II, General Audience, Dec. 22, 1982)
“Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, as we are bathed in the new radiance of your incarnate Word, the light of faith which illumines our minds may also shine through in our deeds (Opening prayer, Mass at Day of the Nativity of Our Lord).”
WISHING YOU ALL, MY DEAR FRIENDS, A HOLY AND THEREFORE HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES!
A BIG HUG IN THE CHILD JESUS, WITH MOTHER MARY AND ST. JOSEPH,