As we celebrate Christ’s birthday, let us remember the reason for the season! “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s love is so great for each one of us, that he sent his Son to enter our humanity and live among us. God wants us to know Him, in the flesh! He became man, just like us in all things, except sin! Through the Incarnation, the Word became flesh (John 1:14), and we celebrate this Incarnation on Christmas Day.
Far greater than any gift sitting under the Christmas tree, or sitting in our driveways, adorned with ostentatious bows, is the gift of Christ Himself – in our hearts. God’s gift of Himself, via the Incarnation, is a piece of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind. God’s master plan required Jesus to enter humanity, not only so that we could come to know and love God, in the flesh, but also so that Jesus could redeem us from our sins and make us holy in God’s sight.
The gift of Christ, in our hearts, is a gift of pure love. By Christ’s gift of Himself, we come to know and love the Father. Son and Holy Spirit. Through the teachings of Jesus Christ, as both God and Man, we’ve come to learn that as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent as God is, He will not force His love upon us; He will not force the gift of salvation upon us. It must be our choice to decide if we will accept Christ’s love. Also, we play a part in our own salvation. It is up to us to decide whether we will accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
So, the plan unfolds anew today, with the babe in the manger. Will you accept the gift of Christ’s love? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God; conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior? I pray that you will say “yes” to these questions, and by doing so, accept the gift of Christ’s love on this Christmas Day.
From all the Theology faculty at Saint Joseph’s College, we wish you a blessed Christmas season filled with God’s love, peace and joy. May your new year be filled with hope, patience and trust in Christ’s generosity, mercy and forgiveness.