to give life and life in abundance
Bro. Azam Mansha
A journey began with the season of Advent and Simbang Gabi has reached to a point where we together with the angel of the Lord can say, the savior has been born for us who is Christ and Lord (Lk 2:11). The birth of Jesus is the birth of Christ. The birth of Jesus through the Virgin Mary indicates the nature and mission of Jesus in the world and for the world (Is 9:1-6).
What is actually Christmas? The Middle English word Chistes maesse most probably recorded in 1038 well defines the meaning of Christmas. Cristes means Christ and Masse means worship therefore it is a day of Christ’s worship. The centre of Christmas shall not only be a preparation of different kind of meals, clothes and organize social or cultural activities but Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God (Jn 1:1-2) who became human being and lived among us (Jn 1:14). Jesus’ worship shall be the centre and reason of our celebration. A child born in Bethlehem is born to give life and life in abundance to us (Jn 10:10).
Among the four evangelists Matthew and Luke are the only two evangelists who narrated the birth of Jesus according to their context. They have also recorded three annunciations: to Joseph, to Mary and to shepherds. Matthew records the annunciation to Joseph whereas Luke records the annunciation to Mary and the shepherds. In these three annunciations a common element is: Jesus has been born to give life.
- To Joseph, angel tells, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary
as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
- To Mary, angel tells, “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33).
- To shepherds, angel tells, “Do not be afraid; for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:10-11).
The birth of Jesus is marked with the abundance of life that is salvation. Jesus has born to give life therefore Christmas is the feast of our salvation and a cause of our life in Christ (Jn 15). Although the birth of Jesus took place in history as an event but today Christ is born every day in our heart through the sacraments (CCC 1076). It is through the celebration of the sacraments we are united with Christ who offers his body and blood in the Eucharist (CCC 1322 - 1327); who forgive our sins in confession and embrace us as his beloved; who walks with a family when they are going through difficult moment in marriage life. Indeed, Christ is present in each sacrament and give us life because he is born not for himself but for us.
We can live Christmas in twofold ways: firstly, in union with Jesus Christ by fully participating in the sacraments and secondly, by sharing our life of abundance in Christ with others such as:
i. Saying no to violence
ii. Raising voice against injustice
iii. Supporting weak and old people
iv. Listening others who are in pain
v. Sharing our valuable help to needy brothers and sisters in our community
May Mary the mother of the baby Jesus, guide us to live and witness the true meaning of Christmas.