Living in Dignity because of Christmas – The Incarnation - 2018
Dearly Beloved, hope you been having a good time till now. For many, the fun towards Christmas started right after Thanksgiving. If you have ever driven down Independence Blvd., and turned onto Hollow Street, from Thanksgiving until now, you will have an idea of what I am talking about. Even in many of your neighborhoods, the expressions of Christmas with various forms of decorations has been everywhere. Unfortunately for many, today and probably tomorrow ends all those celebrations. What remains from all that? On the other hand, our celebration has just began. We have used four weeks, preparing ourselves for this day and all that follows.
Happily for us, the Gospel according to John gives us enough for our reflection into the mysteries of God and the incarnation, God becoming man.
In his opening words John, writes concerning the beginnings identical to the first chapter and verse of the first book of the bible, Genesis. In the beginning … . Why in the beginning identical to Genesis? A new form of creation is underway in this newborn baby. God, in this baby is recreating the world anew.
Again, if we refer ourselves back to the creation story, we find the state of the earth as. … 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, …3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Remember, the baby Jesus is born in the middle of the night, that is, at the peak of darkness in the world. And what did John say about him:
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it. (Jn 1:4,5)
Beloved, among other things, let us be reminded of the renewal that the birth of the Savior brings. Creating everything anew, as it were. Giving form and shape to the formlessness of our lives. He comes to fill the void and to enlighten the dark places in our lives and in the world. However good your life is, he can retouch and make it better. That is, when you allow him.
Dearly beloved, still on the eternal “Word” John writes “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” – the incarnation. What is at the heart of our celebration? We celebrate the encounter between God and human beings. God comes down to the level of humanity. And so, at Christmas, we can exult like Elizabeth: why are we so favored that God’s Word should come to us? (cf. Lk 1:43).
At Christmas, God gives himself without reserve. But why would God come down to us? He comes down to our condition in order to elevate us, helping us recognize and live fully our dignity as beings created in his likeness. Are we actually living a dignified life and children of God in freedom? Or are we living under the oppression of Satan and sin? We see around us those being dehumanized from the influence of all kinds of addictions. We experience how poverty, sickness, immigration issues, threats of war etc. ruin the dignity, the value, of the human person. If we feel truly liberated, then we have a Christian duty to also stretch out our hand to draw others from whatever is dehumanizing them.
Dearly Beloved, with the son of God becoming human like us, it also means, we can offer true worship only when giving due value and respect to our bodies and those of others. We do not subject the body to any undue stress, pain, sinful pleasure and the like. It is my prayer that this Christmas helps us to discover the face of the baby Jesus in the face of our fellow human beings; by treating all manner of people equal and with great respect. God Bless you.