A Reflection: Solemnity Of The Lord’s Birth by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

christmas 2018

Solemnity Of The Lord’s Birth
A Reflection: by Rev. Fr. Allen Baclor Abadines

GOSPEL: Luke 2:1-16
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an Angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the Angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Christ, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the Angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
Christmas is a season that brings us magic and wonder. As a child, I was always fascinated by the Christmas story i.e. the birth of the child in a manger, the appearance of angels, the shepherds, the magi and the bright star. Listening to Christmas carols also bring me strange joy. Christmas decorations everywhere never fail to bring me a sense of awe. Indeed, Christmas is the happiest time of the year. I am not talking about happiness that is superficial but rather something that is more profound. And it is founded in the awareness of the real spirit that is unfolding before us. We rejoice because it is a season that centers on God, on the child Jesus, on love, and on redemption.
Christmas is about a God of love. God indeed is great. Can you imagine, despite man’s infidelity, God even sent his only begotten Son for the salvation of the world? ” Because of the birth of Jesus, the God who is not visible to us became visible. We experience the Father’s love through Jesus, We have come to know God deeply through Jesus. Jesus revealed who the Father is to us. Our hearts should be filled with gratitude for we received the most amazing gift of all i.e. the gift of His Son, Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 “For a child is born to us, and the government is upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, wonderful, counselor, God the mighty, the father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
On this blessed night, when we approach the nativity scene adoring the infant Jesus, let us bear in mind that the image of the child Jesus is more than an adorable cute baby boy. That child grew up – the one who came to serve and not to be served, the one who brought healing to the sick, consolation and pardon to the sinners, the one who raised the dead, he proclaimed the good news, who was put to trial, abandoned by his friends, tortured and crucified, died and was buried. But on the third day rose again. All these in order to save us and all because of love. Philippians 2:6 gives us a more profound understanding of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, “Although he was in the form of God, he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at, rather he emptied himself and taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross.
Story: (from an unknown source) There is a legend of an African boy called Emmanuel, who was always asking questions. One day he asked the question, “What language does God speak?” No one could answer him. He traveled all over his country to find the answer but did not get a satisfactory answer. Eventually, he set out for distant lands to find the answer. For a long time, he had no success. At last, he came one night to a village called Bethlehem and as there was no room in the local inn, he went outside the village in search of a shelter for the night. He came to a cave and found that too was occupied by a couple and a child. He was about to turn away when the young mother spoke, “Welcome Emmanuel, we’ve been waiting for you.” The boy was amazed that the woman knew his name. He was even more amazed when she went on to say, “For a long time you have been searching the world over to find out what language God speaks. Well, now your journey is over. Tonight you can see with your own eyes what language God speaks. He speaks the language of LOVE!
My dear brothers and sisters, on the first Christmas eve 2000 years ago, God communicated to us in a language loud and clear His message of love. “For God so love the world, He gave us his only begotten Son.” And with joy in our hearts, let us proclaim these glad tidings as loud as possible to all the people. Let us bring Christ’ message of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.


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