Christmas is upon us! Christmas—the privileged moment when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” We will never get to the bottom of this incredible reality. No matter how hard we try, whether through study or contemplation, the truth that God wants to be among us as one of us will always be too much for us. And the wonderful thing is, we do not have to understand it; we have only to accept that God should mysteriously love us so. We must receive this mystery in active faith and live out its implications as best we can, knowing that we have a brother that accompanies us on this amazing adventure and brings it to fruition.
During Advent we have allowed our memories to dwell on the wonderful things that God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Our hearts have been touched by the profound images that our Christian tradition has preserved for us and continues to pass on in word and ritual. From the dramatic storytelling of the Church, we have drawn energy and delight. The stories of the gospels have come alive for us and are made present in highly charged dramatic action. To know the story is to become a participant in it—to live it in such a way that its power becomes irresistible to ourselves and to others.
As we now contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation in the Christmas liturgies, we are moved at the very thought of God’s complete surrender to the human situation as a helpless infant. Just like us, he was totally dependent, totally in need. And these needs were met lovingly by a poor mother and a poor father. Today the world is full of such mothers, such fathers, and such children. Today the Christmas gift is still alive. Before the incredible mystery of the Word Made Flesh, we pray that our own lives be transformed into instruments of compassion, as we take our place in this marvelous story for our own times.