“To us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Is 9:5). A few years ago Pope St. John Paul II reflected on the ‘mystery’ of Christmas. It all begins with this
Child who brings salvation to the world and who is also born for the men and women of our own time, bringing joy and peace for all. We approach the crib
with emotion, as we look at this child and welcome him into our hearts and into our lives.
Christmas is a mystery of joy! The Angels sang in the night: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”. To the shepherds they described the event as “a great joy for all the people”. Joy, despite the distance from home, the poverty of the manger, people’s indifference, the hostilities that touch our world and our lives, in a mysterious way, Joy still finds a place.
Christmas is a mystery of love! The love of God our Father, who has sent into the world his only-begotten Son, to bestow on us the gift of His own life. The love of “God-with-us”, Emmanuel, who came to earth in order to die on the Cross so that we might be reconciled with God and share in eternal life.
Christmas is a mystery of peace! From the cave of Bethlehem comes today an urgent appeal to the world not to yield to mistrust, suspicion and discouragement even though the tragic realities of war, upheaval and poverty touch our world; believers of all religions, together with men and women of good will, are called to build peace in our homes, in our communities and in our world. This is the call of the child born in Bethlehem to all of us.
Christmas is the mystery of the Incarnate Word, the Word of God made flesh to live with us. Together we stop and reflect at the manger where the Child lies, to share our own amazement at the immense “love” God has for us, that He would send His Son to be with us in human life.
We ask Mary, His mother, to teach us to recognize His face in the children of every race and culture, and to help us to be credible witnesses of His message of peace and love to others. Even though there is strife and hardship around us at Christmas there is this time of ‘mystery’. As we pray and join together for this feast, may its mystery touch our hearts and souls with peace.
A Merry and Holy Christmas to all.
Bishop Fred Colli