Christmas is the abbreviation for Christ’s Mass. Since Mass means Eucharist, in Greek, we are essentially giving thanks for Christ—the Messiah who has come into the world.
Christmas continues to be popular throughout the world—a cross-cultural celebration that both young and old can celebrate—because we can all identify the joy that comes from a new born baby. A baby is helpless, can’t talk, accepting. Babies usually smell good—just to hold them brings a sense of comfort. Our Lord and Savior, King of the Universe, creator of His own mother, decided to be born in time—as a baby—helpless. God has always trusted humanity, in spite of our sinfulness and the fact that throughout history we broke His covenant. God has always kept His promises; we have never been able to keep our end of the agreement. That’s the reason that He had to come down and show us personally—step by step. Just like when a child can’t tie their shoe. The father will say, “Let me help you.” “No, I can do it.” The child tries and tries and finally has to admit, “OK, please help me.” Jesus didn’t come to help us tie our shoes but to show us how to be human, because we couldn’t get it right. The potential has always been inside but we were relying on our own strength. We are not humans trying to become spiritual beings. We are spiritual beings trying to be human. Goes all the way back to the Garden—when Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, when all along they were already created in God’s image and likeness and did not realize their potential—the beauty that was already inside of them. The sin of pride gets in the way of accepting God’s love. Being humble means admitting our dependency on God and that without Him we can do nothing.
The majority of us do not realize the goodness we process—the gifts that we have—the blessing of the people around us until we loose them. The shepherds realized that something very special was happening. Christ the Savior had been born and they received a personal invitation. No doubt that the shepherds had to travel a great distance to find the child and His parents. We, on the other hand, have Him right here. Like the shepherds we have received a personal invitation to see the Baby. However, we do not have to travel, He is here, helpless like in Bethlehem.
Christ continues to trust humanity with Himself in the Eucharist. God of all the universe choses to associate with sinners. History repeats itself. When Jesus came the first time He associated with shady characters, like shepherds, tax collectors, the outcast of society—so all of us blend right in. We are grateful that God does not give up on us. We should not give up on ourselves. The season of peace can also be a time of anxiety, depression, arguments. Time to recall who dwells inside of us, especially when we are weak. The Lord invites us to give Him flesh, to make Him present in our world by our love. Love conquers all. Love can conquer the fears that we have; can help us to let go of past resentments; love empowers us to forgive. If God who is almighty can become defenseless before us, we can certainly lower our defenses and trust one another, even the ones who have hurt us.
A merry Christmas is possible. Peace in the world is possible. Begins with being happy inside. Let peace start in each of us.