Christmas Day, 25 December 2023. 

Read Isaiah 52:7-10, Ps. 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

“Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 52:9)

Finally, here comes the day we have all been waiting for, the one day that always stands out from all other days in the year: the birthday of Jesus Christ. The book of Hebrews today tells us that in many and various ways, God spoke to our Fathers through the prophets, but in these last days, God has spoken to us by a Son. In other words, by giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, God has spoken to Humanity in a rather concrete and definitive manner.

As John explains in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus Christ is that Word of God that was with God in the beginning “and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3) and this Word, Jesus Christ eventually “became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…” (John 1:14).

If God spoke by giving us Jesus Christ, the question is: What is the message? What is God trying to tell us by incarnating Himself in our human flesh?

1. God is saying: “I Love You.”
In Jesus, we can hear God saying to mankind: “I care deeply about you, and I am ready to do anything for your sake.” St. John puts it beautifully when he wrote: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17).

Christmas is such a wonderful love story. God’s way of vocalising “I Love You” was by giving us the greatest gift ever: the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It doesn’t end there; God gave us Jesus Christ to die for us. Could there be any better way of saying: “I Love You”?

2. God is saying: “I Am Real.”
In Jesus, God has shown his face to mankind. With the birth of Jesus, we can put a face to God. We know that God is not just a figment of imagination but a father whom we can touch. When Philip asked to see the Father, Jesus said: “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:9-10)

In today’s Gospel passage, St. John says: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (John 1:18). At Christmas, God speaks to us saying: “I am not far away, I am here, I am real and I rule over the world.” This is exactly what the prophet Isaiah conveys in today’s first reading: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7).

3. God says, “I am Gentle, Humble, and Accessible.”
By choosing to come as a baby (not a warrior with an army), by choosing to be born to poor people under poor circumstances (not in a palace of gold), and by making Himself so vulnerable (such that Joseph had to flee at night with the baby Jesus for safety from Herod), I think God was concretely saying to mankind: “Love me, don’t be so frightened about me, I am close to you.”

Jesus drives home the point better when He says: “Come to me, all who labour and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest… learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).

At Christmas, God tells us, “Come to me as you would come to a baby; I will not hurt you.” Perhaps you cannot remember the last time you prayed. Start today. Start to talk to God again. Don’t be scared. Carry this child in your arms and talk to Him.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may your coming as man change my life completely. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Christmas Day - Mass during the Day. Bible Study: Isaiah 52:7-10, Ps. 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18)

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu

Merry Christmas to you and your family.