As the festive season of Christmas approaches, we are surrounded by the glitter and glow of decorations and the cheerful sounds of carols.
Yet, amidst these celebrations, it is essential to pause and reflect on the profound meaning and significance of Christmas.
Christmas, more than a time of festivity and merry-making, is a time of God’s showing His great love for us.
It is a time of healing and renewed strength. We see this love in the gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born in a humble manger over two thousand years ago.
This event, which split history into B.C. and A.D., is not just a distant historical occurrence but a present reality that affects our lives deeply.
The heart of Christmas is Jesus Christ. His birth, as foretold by prophets, was a moment when God stepped into our world, becoming flesh to live among us. This profound mystery of the Incarnation – God becoming man – is at the core of our celebration.
The Gospel of John eloquently reminds us: “For 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).
In Jesus, born in Bethlehem, we find the embodiment of hope, love, and peace. His coming was a sign of God’s solidarity with all humanity, especially those who suffer, those on the margins, and those in need.
The humble circumstances of Jesus’ birth – in a stable, laid in a manger because there was no room at the inn – remind us that in God’s eyes, greatness is found in simplicity and humility, not in power and wealth.
Christmas is a celebration of God’s unending love and mercy. It is a call for us to open our hearts to receive Jesus, to let His light and love transform us.
In doing so, we are also called to be bearers of this light and love to others. As we prepare our homes with Christmas trees and cribs, let us also prepare our hearts to be a dwelling place for Jesus.
In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, who started the tradition of the Christmas crib, we are reminded of the simplicity and humility of the first Christmas night.
This Christmas, let us also remember that our celebrations are incomplete if we do not extend our hands in generosity and love to those in need.
The spirit of Christmas is a spirit of giving, not of receiving. It is in giving that we receive the true joy of Christmas.
In the midst of our celebrations, let us not forget to reach out to the poor, the lonely, and the forgotten. Let our festivities be a reflection of our love and care for our neighbours, especially those who struggle to find joy and hope in their lives.
Moreover, Christmas is a time of reconciliation and peace. It is a time to mend broken relationships, to forgive and seek forgiveness, and to renew our commitment to live in harmony with one another.
The message of the angels on the first Christmas night – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” (Luke 2:14) – is a message that is ever relevant.
Let us strive to be people of goodwill, agents of peace and reconciliation in our families, communities, and the world.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, let us remember the true essence of this holy season.
Let us keep Christ at the centre of our celebrations, making this Christmas a genuine expression of our faith and love. May the joy and peace of Christmas fill your hearts and homes, and may the New Year be filled with blessings and grace.
May the light of Christ shine brightly in your lives, guiding you in the path of love, peace, and joy. Let us all join together in spreading the message of Christmas, sharing the love of Christ with all those we encounter.
Wishing you all a blessed and joyous Christmas and a New Year filled with God’s richest blessings.
Dr (Fr) John Parankimalil, SDB is the Secretary, All India Don Bosco Education Society in New Delhi. The author can be reached through 7005216841, firstname.lastname@example.org.