How joyful we feel at the arrival of a new baby! Of course, there is trepidation – for any parent – as to how one might cope with the responsibilities of caring for a new-born. But joy and hope is what roots us and motivates us.
Now Jesus did not necessarily arrive in the most luxurious of conditions – there were no midwives in the stable and not wet wipes on hand to sanitise! Jesus Christ came to earth in utter vulnerability – completely at the mercy of human hands. The fragile figure of this little babe in the manger, with so many loving and delighted onlookers, reminds us of the joy which at the heart of our faith – that of a God who became human so that he could touch us, laugh with us, journey with us and make an impact in our lives.
As we see Jesus light up the nativity scene with the simple joy that a new-born brings, herein lies the immense mystery of the incarnation – that an all-powerful God would humble himself so much as to make himself fragile, so vulnerable, as to be nailed to a cross.
And his incarnation at the nativity connects his physical life on earth all those years ago with our present, as Jesus comes to us in vulnerability every time we receive him at Mass in a simple piece of bread. So let us not forget that (though many of us have been denied this Eucharistic gift due to the coronavirus), Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts everyday and asks to be invited in. On this Christmas Day – wherever we are, whatever we are doing – let us be filled to overflowing once again with Christmas joy and let us invite Jesus into our lives once again!
Lord, when I place you in my hands, what do I do?
Do I push you aside or welcome you as king of my life?
Do I accept your love and the gifts you have given to me as a child of God?
Am I willing to share the joy of your birth with others?
Help me to welcome you with a grateful heart.
Help me to understand that when I see you in the crib,
that you came for ME –
that you come for me, today,
and are ever calling me to a new relationship with you.