The answer that God gives is the reason for our celebration. He does not come in power and might. He does not come as an earthly king. He sends his Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary and she is found to be with child. He Himself took flesh from the Virgin. This is why the Old Testament calls Him Emmanuel - God is with us. God Himself became a little baby – a baby called Jesus, a name meaning Saviour. And how does He save us? He does not do so with brute power and might, but the strange weapons of weakness, innocence and love – the weapons by which a little baby can win our hearts.
By coming into the world as a child, God makes possible a new relationship with Him. He makes Himself small so that He is no longer far away from us. He shows us that His love for us is so great that He wants to enter into our world, into our lives and make Himself defenceless in front of us.
By coming to us as a baby He invites us to open our hearts to Him. This is where His salvation begins – by driving out hatred, bitterness and sin and replacing it with His love. During the year we will celebrate His teaching, His Passion, His Cross, His Resurrection and His sending of the Holy Spirit – but tonight our focus is on the beginning. At the beginning is the baby. We look at the little baby in the crib and our hearts open; we learn that He is our God and we realise that the whole world has been changed. We know that the world is not Foresaken or Abandoned, but that Heaven and Earth have been wedded to each other, and God has come to change us so that he might truly delight in us. We know that God has come close to us, and has poured His grace and His love into our world, and for that we give thanks on this Holy Night.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
At the beginning is the Baby
~an excerpt from my friend Fr. B's homily for the Vigil Mass of Christmas