Who would have believed or even imagined that one day the Creator of the universe would choose to stoop down to become a tiny embryo in the womb of a young Virgin? No one could have foreseen such a scenario because most of us naturally seek honor, power, pleasure, recognition and praise in this world. And this spirit of concupiscence that often inhabits us logically leads us to project upon God our all-too-human ways of conceiving and interpreting reality. Without the grace of faith, it is impossible to believe that an almighty, wise and rich God could desire to become incarnate in the womb of a poor and frail creature living in the greatest poverty. This contradicts all human logic. But precisely! The faith we have in God made flesh goes beyond human logic, for it is the fruit of the great gift of the Holy Spirit that God grants to men and women of good will!
Oh, what joy and delight it is to contemplate the look and smile of a newborn baby! So much innocence, purity, trust and total dependence upon mom and dad gently cuddling him in their arms. And see how his gaze and his smile inevitably provoke a reaction: when they see him smile, his loved ones smile and rejoice! Seeing him stretch out his arms, they in turn want to take him and rock him in their arms. Hearing him babbling the semblance of words or uttering little cries that are difficult to decode, they get down to his level and mutter in return all sorts of soft and sometimes incomprehensible words. Seeing him playing by himself, they bend over and sit down close by, so as not to impress him too much with their height and to show him that he is no longer alone. Seeing him cry, they become sad but comforting and compassionate towards him.
Do you see how the little child manages to attract our attention, our emotions and to arouse our joie de vivre? See how it draws us into a movement of mutual love and communication. See how it succeeds in giving full meaning to our sometimes dull and aimless lives. Ah, how great is the mystery of the child who sleeps peacefully in front of us and who in turn leads us to dream.
That's what the mystery of Christmas is all about! It's the Child God who stoops down to become a toddler in front of us, holding out his arms and his tiny hands, looking at us and smiling tenderly. As if he were saying out loud: "Take me in your arms, please! I so need your tenderness, your affection, your words of comfort and consolation. Allow me to enter your heart as real parents do with their beloved child. See my becoming lowly in the cradle of the poor grotto of Bethlehem. Do you want to stoop down in turn to take the time to play with me, to show me that I am no longer alone? Do you wish to enter with confidence into the great mystery of my infinite love that is revealed to you at Christmas?
Your Savior Jesus who loves you immeasurably!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021 to all!
* Image: The Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1650) by Matthias Stom, from Wikimedia Commons