GOD IS WITH US!
O Lord, my God, I will sing in hope a birthday song to you, who by your birth give me a divine rebirth. (Canon, Eve of the Nativity of Christ)
“God is with us!” This is the meaning of the word “Emmanuel.” This proclamation provides us with a capsule definition of the Nativity.
This feast day means that God Himself has come to earth, that God has taken upon Himself human flesh, that He has become Man, not ceasing to be God. This is what we might call an unbelievable concept, but it is precisely what we believe is true. This is the glory, the wonder, the joy of Our Lord‘s birth. God is with us! There is so much that goes on during this holiday season that takes our gaze off Christ, that makes our ears less attuned to His Word, and even our hearts less yearning for things holy.
But the cry – God is with us! – brings the day back into focus. It points to the true significance of the festival. The Birth of the Christ child.
My beloved in Christ, if there is one certain promise of the Feast of the Nativity, it is Hope. Our life is nothing without hope. Hope that a vaccine will help us to stop the deadly virus in our country. Hope of rebirth in our community, our families and our parishes. Hope in rebirth of our innermost relationship with God our Creator.
And herein lies the greatness of the Feast – that “strange and glorious Mystery,” as St. John of Damascus says. Strange, in that Hope itself comes down to earth, and earth then dares to hope. Strange, in that God humbles Himself to enter into his very creation as a creature to give us hope.
I greet you on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ and of Theophany. May God grant us all during this coming year the rebirth that only Hope can bring
CHRIST IS BORN! LET US GLORIFY HIM!