Christmas Day Reflection– Year B
25 December 2014
Today’s the day we’ve all been longed for. Some of us started to have our own count downs a few months ago. We have prepared for it for the past nine days of our Simbang Gabi. Many of us even attended the Christmas Eve Mass last night, but just so we make certain that we relish the Christmas spirit, we plan to attend the Mass on the very day of Christmas itself.
And to be sure, today’s Christmas liturgy celebrates God’s powerful presence.
The brilliance of the light seen in our own homes, in malls and other establishments which has accompanied us this season—however spectacular they may be—is simply nothing compared to the splendor of the light, that is, Christ Himself. St. John the Evangelist, we’ll hear him, puts it this way, darkness has not overcome it.
Light is not just essential so that plants and trees may grow and bear flowers and fruits, but it also warms our hearts which drive away our fears and calm our spirit.
Years ago, I experienced trekking in a mountain with a group of friends down south. As the sun sets, we fail to notice that darkness has slowly engulfed everything that it’s become difficult to find the trail. But instead of feeling the fear of the unknown thanks to that gloomy night, something unexpected took place. Everyone in our group is filled with awe as we behold the magical light of the moon and the tiny sparkle of the stars in the sky.
And yet, these lights don’t even come a tad close to the very light of Christ, which, as described by the letter to Hebrews in the second reading, is the brightness of God’s glory.
Indeed, in the darkest period of our lives, we yearn for His light. We know that this light conquers any darkness beyond our imagining. As we all bask in the light brought forth by the birth of the Light par excellence, it is timely to ask ourselves about those aspects of our life which may be in need of His radiance, so that with the light He brings, we may be able to see better.
Another expression of Jesus’s presence is His Word. Jesus is the Word that became flesh.
Jesus is very much alive in His Word. His Word–ever alive, ever dynamic. Just as the evangelists recorded, His Word did not just heal dreaded diseases, it performed many miracles, and even brought dead people back to life.
Just as it was then, so it is now. His Word has not failed to comfort broken hearts and nourish starving spirits. His Word brings people back to life because it is uttered with much love, because Jesus’ Word is love and life itself!
The Word comes at this very season. In fact, He is here with us at this very moment. He is Jesus, the Emmanuel, God-with-us.
But the problem comes with our inattention. When He comes, are we willing to take to heart what He says, or at least, are we willing to listen to Him?
Jesus’s presence is manifested through Word and Light. But just to be sure that His presence is unmistakably felt, He came into the world just like any of us, in the form of a human person.
We use our bodies to communicate hunger, love, anger, boredom, happiness, fear and a whole lot more. This must have been His cue. In order to communicate unambiguously the love of the Father to us—the Son, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, had to assume a human body.
This human body of Jesus made it possible to make visible the invisible.
Benedict XVI once mused what Jesus has done to the world. Did Jesus bring peace? Did He give us hope? Did He teach us to love? No. No. and another No. Jesus revealed the Father to us. He showed us God.
C.S. Lewis once commented that next to the Blessed Tabernacle, Jesus’s presence is manifested in the person seated next to us.
As we adore Jesus in His human form, captured in the image we shall venerate today in our churches, let us not forget also that He is very much present in every human person we meet who deserves to be loved, honored and respected.
They, too, radiate the glory of the Father.