When Christmas comes different emotions visit different people... There are some that look at Christmas like a bridge to their childhood and have pleasant memories of that, others maybe because they had a different childhood, would prefer to have these days end quickly. They want to return as soon as they can to their "normal life" to their jobs as a way to stop thinking about what is related to Christmass.
Today I want to share a brief meditation about the time of the birth of Jesus. He was born in the middle of the night. Night,in more than one sense.
The night of the earth is without the sun's light, the night of the sinner is being away from the clarity that comes from grace, the night of selfishness that can make us prisoners of horrible prisons, the night of fear of the Roman Empire that made himself an idol paying the price of idotitry with human blood.
Jesus was born in the middle of the night and the voices of the angels broke the silence of the moment and the shepherds saw themselves surrendered by a unexpected joy...
The glory of God visited the earth. A planet darkened by evil and ignorance did not look so bad to God. He sent Angels to visit and to bring to light so many injustices, lies, stupidity and impurity.
Jesus was born in the middle of the night. What is night in my life? What is night in my family, friends, community, parish, country, my generation? where and how is the start of the dawn of grace, the love and care of Mary, our Mother, and St. Joseph, where is the light of the star or the worship of the shepherds, the pilgrimage of the Magi?
God always gives gifts that ease the nights, consolations capable of defeating the dark moments.
Stop criticizing the night, because it is not going to get better. Don't simply increase lamentations because of the darkness of night. That lamentation can trap you... Look at the signs of the light in your life, bless those signs and thank God for them because with them you are going to defeat the night, Amen.
A lot of people come to mass without expecting anything; they come not knowing God... But we welcome the ones that are not expecting much. Maybe the ones that are well prepared will know details, maybe they are walking in the light, but the people that are walking in darkness are going to be surprised like the Angels in the Gospel tonight.
Saint Paul said that the grace of God has come. Maybe we expected a kind of God, that was upset, but not this merciful forgiving God. If He is here and He has fascinated many in years past why can’t He do the same today? Why can’t He take the hardest heart and surprise us?
Sometimes behind the chasuble and cleric identity is hidden a priest that thinks that he knows everything... Nuns, brothers they think they have all the answers and live their lives in a boring routine. We are not the only ones. Elder people, spouses, professionals, singles, college students, high schoolers; people that think they are in the perfect situation like the shepherds did are going to be surprised by an Angel.
I would like to take those lives and surprise them with the love of God. Surprise them with joy, happiness, holiness, purity, truth...
What can we do for more bishops and priests to preach to us with fire, not only truths but also with a deep love of God?
How can we accept boring Catholics? Sometimes even from young children... Like the kid that said Mom I don't want to go to mass. Why? Because the priest always preaches the same: be good.
I want to be a good father that brings new life. Lord grant me the grace to inject your good news... The reality that You are God with us and You are not going to go anywhere... That He is staying right here, among us, in the Sacraments.
The fruit of this night of Christmas is that something is going to go from the manger to our hearts.
That was the beginning for me and my vocation to the priesthood. He found me and I found Him and that is my desire for all of you.
I think that if we share the fire of the encounter with Jesus soon we will have the world on fire like Jesus wanted.
Let’s finish with the hope that even though people are giving Jesus their backs and are stubborn in sin, Jesus is more stubborn in loving and surprising us.Merry Christmas