We have been talking about globalization and global warming. We discuss globalization only in terms of economics and politics that make the bigger and richer nations benefit much from it. We discuss global warming only in terms of a better environment for the future that we are almost losing, because of our negligence and carelessness. I believe that there is more to this on Christmas.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He already wanted a globalization of his love and mercy for all. But people have made Christmas so commercialized, that we have almost put aside the real reason for Christmas. If in our families and communities, we weigh our concerns for the real reason for Christmas and the things we do in preparation for and during the Christmas season, which do you think would weigh more?
The reason for Christmas is Jesus, the Eucharist, the sacrament of Reconciliation, forgiveness of others, service to other people and the church, thanksgiving to God for blessings and for life. It is our appreciation that God became man and lived among us. For many of us, the things that we do in preparation for and during the Christmas season are to decorate our houses, prepare extra food, buy gifts, visit relatives and friends, parties and many others. How do these relate to the real reason of Christmas in our lives?
I firmly believe that we also have to talk about and live the global warming of our hearts in these times when the world courts convenience, selfishness, indifference, and greed that is idolatry (Col 3:5), and violence, so that we can reap the fruits of our work for peace and unity in the world. This is the safest way for us all.
I believe there has been so much global cooling, cooling of hearts, cooling for the work of peace; everyone to his own. There is so much indifference in this world; indifference to the reasons for life, indifference to the teachings of the church, indifference to the rights and privileges of peoples, indifference to calls to preserve the environment, indifference to the plight of the poor, the weak and the needy, and many more.
Jesus was rejected in the inn. He was not recognized by his own creation. He had nowhere to be born, but only in a common place of gathering and where animals are gathered and fed. He was laid in a manger, just for us to realize that He was going to be food for all who would accept him. He had to be laid in a manger so that in our poor condition we can be born again into everlasting life. In the end, he had nowhere to die but on the wood of the cross, so that he could open his arms and call all men and women, and cry out, “come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). He had to be nailed with outstretched arms to open his heart, and he had to die so that we can live. What a life! What a miracle! Do we understand this? Do we understand Christmas?
Christmas is all about Jesus: Jesus born in Bethlehem, Jesus baptized in the Jordan, Jesus who taught and performed miracles, Jesus who calls us to His Kingdom and to conversion of heart, Jesus crucified on the cross and rose again from the dead, Jesus present in the Eucharist and in our celebrations. Christmas is about Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament waiting for us to visit Him every day. Christmas is about Jesus who gives us His life, protects us in difficult times and makes us holy in the midst of the odds of life. Christmas is about Jesus who gives life again to people who forgive each other, and it is about our families that pray together to grow in unity and love for each other. Christmas is about Jesus that you and I celebrate today. Only Jesus is the reason for Christmas.
St. Paul teaches us today: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope…. to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good (Ti 2: 11-14).
Let this be felt daily in our lives, and Christmas will not be a wasted time. Christmas is a time to be refreshed with the vigor of life, faith, hope and love. Let it not happen that after this season we feel so tired and exhausted because we only have worked for temporal things.
Let us work for the things of Jesus, and the vigor of life will come back to us. Let the beauty of the Baby Jesus be the beauty of our lives. Let the power of God made man be the power in our relationships, and the love of Jesus born for us will be the love of our hearts.
A Blessed Christmas to you all.