Friday, December 18, 2009

"Jesus In Christmas" By Fr. Emeterio Barcelon, S.J.

Why celebrate Christmas?

Christmas for most of us is a time of merry making, of gift giving, of joyous music, of expressions of love. In all of these we may forget the main reason for the celebrations which is the remembrance of God’s love, so great that He took the form of man to make it easier for us to love Him and because of love for Him to love our fellow man. Our faith is a faith of love and joy. As a creature we can easily understand the need to adore but we may find it hard to love an Almighty God, all-knowing, all- encompassing Creator. But since He is the God of love, He made it easier for us to love Him back by becoming a man like us, a Child in Bethlehem. This is the basic reason for all the celebrations. God's loves us and in His mercy has given us the opportunity to love Him back. This justifies the joys of Christmas.

The coming of the king as a humble child in poverty in a manger also reminds us of His coming to save us from the weight of our own tendencies to evil, our shortcomings, our gloom, and weakness in the face of temptation. He saved us from evil, and made up for our transgressions, our sloth, our greed for power and possessions, our lust, our anger and desires for revenge, our selfishness and unconcern for others. Rejoice then, because He has made up for our transgressions. We have no more debts, no punishments to undergo since they have all been forgiven and paid for. The tiniest whimper or suffering of the Almighty God made man would have sufficed to pay for our transgressions although He went on to the Cross to give us an example and to warn us that we are still subject to the evil within us, and of the powers of evil that surround us.

Without the Child, Christmas merry making has no meaning. We rejoice because He taught us how to love and made it easier for us to love the Almighty. We rejoice because we have been empowered to control the evil within us and strengthened against the forces of evil that surround us. The evergreen tree of the Christmas tree is the symbol of the constancy of God's love. It is ever green and ever constant. Santa Claus is the symbol of giving and self giving that Jesus taught and did for us. So are the three kings who came from the east to offer gifts of adoration.

Link (here) to Fr. Emeterio Barcalon's full reflection.

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