God Incarnate, Son of God, Emmanuel: God with us! All humankind receives the LOVE of God on Christmas. Let us rejoice and be glad! God is the very definition of love. He gifted a world of sinners the opportunity to be saved from the depths and the pain of sin when he sent his only Son, that we might live. God wants every good thing for us, and we will only come to fully understand the depth of his love when we meet him face to face, to live with him eternally.
It is nearly impossible for us to comprehend the profound love God has for all people. Think about those you love, your children, your spouse, your parents, your family and how deeply you are affected by sharing love with them. Imagine the immensity of that love being like a grain of sand on a seashore in comparison to how God loves us. His love is deeper, richer, more powerful than any other form of love we might identify in our lives. God loves so deeply that even when he knows the sin we commit; he does not let it stand in the way of our being completely forgiven and loved by him. There is nothing we can do, short of total rejection of the Holy Spirit, that can keep us from the unconditional, merciful, and boundless love of God.
And so, we welcome a small, vulnerable, newborn child, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary and protected by St. Joseph. God’s plan for our salvation is realized in this miraculous birth. For centuries this child was expected, the one who would save humanity and ensure for all, eternity with God. We are drawn to the babe in a manger for good reason.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of how our hearts long for God and how he calls us to himself:
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for” CCC.27
Let us celebrate Christmas mindful of how we are drawn to God, that newborn child, lying in the manger. Let us thank God for the gift of love, love of family, friend, and stranger. May that love unite all God’s people and let us rejoice, for indeed, LOVE came down from heaven on that starry night. Joy to the World!
In shared love of Christ,