Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Our Lord’s birth is an event that summons us to the challenge of faith. The nativity of Christ is an event that arouses what is often a dormant faith to encounter God’s unconditional love. The feast challenges us to enter with all our being into the embrace of Christ who takes on our sin and mortality so we might become God.
Indeed, the words we use to greet each other during the Nativity Feast, Christ Is Born! Glorify Him! are simple and clear. Yet, their meaning is difficult since they require our entering the mystery of an event that defies both reason and nature. Our hymnody and iconography beautifully express what is ultimately inexplicable. The Holy Spirit prepares a young virgin to give birth to the Son of God. The uncontainable God develops as a human being in the womb of his mother. A virgin gives birth and remains virgin. The King of Glory rests in a manger. Angels converse with shepherds. Magi follow a star from the Orient leading them to the true light. Ox and ass know and venerate their master. With reasonable arguments, Satan tempts Joseph to deny what he encounters. Mary reclines by her child pondering the incomprehensible.
What we celebrate is truly wonderful and mysterious. But often, because we cannot transcend the limitations of what is rational and logical, we behold the Feast from a distance unable to be enveloped by its healing and uncreated light.
The wonder and mystery of our Lord’s nativity - its unceasing joy - is bound to a living faith that is aware of its own doubts and distractions. It is a living faith that allows us to surrender to God’s love and care. It is a living faith that brings us into the saving mystery of Christ’s incarnation – a mystery beyond nature and reason, a mystery filled with the light of wisdom. It is through a living faith that we will be able to offer others the wonder and joy of God becoming a child for the life of the world and its salvation.
With love in Christ,