As we can all see when we go shopping at Riccarton Mall and elsewhere, there are a lot of people (including ourselves) getting ready for Christmas. Our shopping list may be huge but our bank account limited! We may even torment ourselves about knowing what to buy and for whom; shops strive to seduce the consumers with glittering decorations of all kind. Christmas trees are up but we may wonder how many people really know its original meaning – that Jesus is the true tree of life.
Perhaps we should wonder a bit when we see Christmas parties happening in many places even before Christmas Day! We know that for many people, the meaning of Christmas may just mean a time for families and friends to get together and relax!
For us who have been educated in the Catholic Faith, is not Christmas the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation of the second person of the Holy Trinity? Today, the joy of the Good News proclaimed by Isaiah is reflected in the pink chasuble of the priest.
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy…” (Is.35)
Jesus himself proclaims that he is now fulfilling all those prophecies. This is why the followers of Jesus cannot live in sadness and fear but in joy: our joy, which is signified by the pink colour of the priest’s chasuble, comes from the love of God for each one of us and from His presence among us which John the Baptist revealed.
Yet, let us not content ourselves with the mere celebration of Jesus’ birthday. We are now awaiting the ’final and glorious coming of Christ”. St Paul reveals to us how to adequately prepare for it: “Be patient, brothers, until the Lord’s coming… You too have to be patient; do not lose heart, because the Lord’s coming will be soon. Do not make complaints against one another, brothers, so as not to be brought to judgement yourselves;“
Advent is a mystery of great hope indeed. The only Christmas present we should care about is God the Father’s supreme gift of Jesus Christ; which happened, thanks to the Blessed Virgin Mary who accepted the role of becoming his mother..
May we take time to reflect on how the Virgin Mary prepared for her first Christmas? Did she not silently contemplate the Word of God present in her womb?