Dear brothers and sisters,
After 24 days of Advent, today we celebrate with great joy the Nativity of our Lord. Today's entrance antiphon reminds us: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, for our Savior is born to the world. True peace has descended from heaven. Yes, we can rejoice because our Lord, our God Jesus Christ is with us. A few day's ago on Fourth Sunday of Advent we heard that the name of our God is Emmanuel a name which means "God is with us". Today we can see this prophecy is true: God was born for us, God is with us. Today we are called to accept God, Emmanuel, in our life. This acceptance is really the most important decision in our life. Isaiah, the prophet, speaks about this: The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone.
If we accept the Lord in our life we can truly live. No more in the darkness caused by our sins and our problems but in a great light and this light is Christ who shows us the true meaning of human life. The prophet Isaiah uses four special names for God who born for us and became man. These illustrate for us the importance of Christmas.
"For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.
What does Wonder Counsellor mean? Sometimes we find ourselves in situations when we need help and especially counseling from other people. We know that we have questions which no one can answer. Only God is able give us the answer for the most important questions in our life, questions like: What is the meaning of my life? where have I com from and what is there after this life? God who became man, was born like child for us, is the Wonder- Counsellor.
What does Mighty-God mean? Where is the power of God if there is injustice in the world, pain and illness? How is it possible speak today about Mighty-God? Especially in the context of Christmas when our God becomes for us a child, powerless child. This is logical because God wants change our life but not with power and force but simply with His love.
The Prophet Isaiah speaks about God who is coming and uses the expression Eternal Father. This expression reminds us that Jesus is the Son of God "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven". God the Father sent Jesus because He loves us. He first loved us and today when we celebrate this mystery we are called to respond to this love. How can we respond? We respond in three ways, first by loving each other, second when we discover the presence of God in our life and third when decide to chose Him as our savior. God never wants be an intruder and he comes today to us like a child. If I want to, I can accept my God but I can refuse and make no space for Jesus who is coming. This decision is one of most important choices which we need to make.
The prophet Isaiah speaking about God, who is coming, uses the expression Prince of Peace. Every day when we celebrate the Eucharist we repeat Jesus' words: "Peace I leave you, my peace I give you". Today the world generally, every person and especially the family needs peace. The peace which only God, Jesus Christ can give us. The peace of Jesus is a peace that the world cannot give. In gospel according to Luke we read: "Glory to God in the highest, and or earth peace among men with whom he is pleased". According to the evangelist, the angels "said" this. But Christianity has always understood that the speech of angels is actually a song, in which all the glory of the great joy that they proclaim becomes tangibly present. (Benedict XVI).
The celebration of Christmas every year reminds us who is our God: Wonder-Counselor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace. Today we are called to open our life, open our hearts to God who is coming. "Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction". This person is Jesus Christ who born for us, for our salvation.