“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.” Lk. 2: 10-12)
After the Advent preparations including the nine novena Misa de Gallo masses, we savor and immerse ourselves in the birth of our Lord, reflecting on the authentic beauty and immense love of God for us. Imagine the Savior coming down from Heaven, who humbled Himself in a manger fit only for farm animals, lived in extreme poverty, and eventually dying on the Cross for us and for our salvation!
In this season of love, we exchange gifts with family, friends, and colleagues. While we labor in the searching, buying, wrapping and giving, we remember the most important gift that the Father gave us: His only begotten Son Jesus.
What struck me most in the Christmas Mass homily are the words of Fr. Ely,
“In the first Christmas, there was no exchange of gifts. God didn’t expect us to give Him anything in return, because we can never give what we don’t have; all that we have He has given first. And most importantly His greatest gift to us: the most precious gift of His Son Jesus.”
Everything comes from God, and so we don’t really give anything to Him except that we are just giving back, when we give to Him through our giving to others. While we give messages and gifts to strengthen our relationships with our loved ones and friends, let us not forget that the same Baby Jesus in the manger is the same Jesus who died on the Cross for our sins and our salvation. He is the same Jesus who walks with us daily, in our sorrows, joys, victories and challenges. What makes God’s love so amazing and beautiful is that He didn’t need to humble himself, but that’s just how His redeeming love is! Let us then view the baby in the manger as the extent and greatness of the Father’s mercy and compassion.
The season is still long: but may we not fail to treasure every moment and remember how God loved us immensely: so pure, so faithful, so authentic.