On the very first Christmas, something amazing happened: God entered into time. He became one of us! This means he knows our troubles, joys, and sufferings from the inside. He is in solidarity with us through it all. This is what we remember on Christmas. Christ is our Lord who became our brother. He came down to us to bring us up to God.
Now the question for us is: what are we going to do about that? On the very first Christmas, Christ was unrecognized by most of the world. His grand entrance was not into a palace, but a barn. His first bed was not on silk and feathers, but on straw. There was no room for him in the inn and there was not room for him in the hearts of his people. This little child, born in the most peculiar way, would eventually be scorned by those he came to save. What are we going to do about that?
Let’s make a home for Christ in our hearts. The world was cold to him the first time around. The world continues to be cold towards him. However, you and I can make a home for Christ in our hearts. We may be imperfect and faulty, but he was at home in a manger the first time he came. We may struggle to be good, but he was at home at tables of sinners. In Christ we find our true hope, our true strength, and our true love. He gave us the Church to be an instrument of his abiding presence. He remains with us through his Church today. Let’s let Christ into our hearts and our lives through practicing our Catholic faith. When we reach difficult moments, let’s lean on him in the Eucharist and in the Scriptures. When we fall, let’s turn to him in the sacrament of Confession. Whatever happens to us each week, let’s raise our hearts to him in the Sunday Mass as our continual reception of the great gift of his life.
My prayer is that each of us has a blessed Christmas: Heavenly Father, may this Christmas bring each of us closer to Jesus Christ. May it deepen our faith in his saving power. May it draw us ever closer to him through the Church. May each of us make a home for Christ in our hearts. Amen!
Fr. Patrick Burns