In these days before celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ, may we slow down for a moment (or more) and contemplate this great Mystery of His love: that God has come into the world, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, taking on our human nature, yet remaining divine, to save us, to redeem us by His Passion, death and Resurrection, and His Ascension into Heaven, to bring us to life eternal with Him in Heaven.
May we imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, who trusted in the Lord so completely, as they said Yes to God’s will, taking Jesus into their home, into the heart of their life (Matthew 1, Luke 1). Mary said Yes to God, becoming the mother of the Savior; Joseph said Yes to God, becoming the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. In the words of Saint Paul, both Mary and Joseph expressed the obedience of Faith as they answered the call to be holy, to belong to Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-7).
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit calls each of us to express the obedience of Faith, to answer His call to be holy, to belong to Christ, to trust Him completely, to follow Him fully. Jesus loves us more than we can ever imagine, more than we love ourselves – and He’s waiting to fill our lives with His love, His grace, wisdom, strength, joy and peace. Christmas proves this love. Good Friday and Easter prove this love. Every detail of our Lord’s life proves His infinite love for us. Yet, His love will not be forced upon us. His love is a gift, the Gift, for God is Love (1 John 4). This Christmas, may we fervently welcome the Gift, Jesus Christ, into the home of our heart, like Mary and Joseph, and trust in Him and follow Him.
May we respond to God’s love and say Yes to faithfully following Jesus in His Church, Word and Sacraments, in our daily prayer, in telling the Truth with love, in proclaiming the Gospel with joy, the life-giving, life-affirming and loving teachings of Jesus and His Church. May we, by God’s grace, strive to be the instruments of love and mercy that Jesus Christ calls us to be as His disciples. Jesus Christ has opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for us – and, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said, “His Kingdom is present wherever He is loved and wherever His love reaches us” (Spe Salvi, In Hope We Are Saved, #31). By God’s grace, may we respond by opening wide the doors of our hearts to welcome the Savior, trusting in His mercy and love. Like Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, let us say Yes to Jesus and His will, in the obedience of Faith, for we belong to Him, and He calls us to be holy, to live a life that is truly life, life in Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world.
With peace and prayers for a blessed and joyful Christmas,