Above all, it’s about Christmas than holidays
“And the Word became Flesh, and Dwelt amongst us”
It has always been a great honor and pleasure to be visited by someone special in our lives. Whenever special people pay us a visit in our home, we usually do our best to be a good worthy host to our guests. We normally welcome them into our house, offer them some refreshments, and spent quality time to listen and talk with them. We are not to leave them behind, on their own, while we do our usual affairs. We are to be and should be with our guests all throughout and until the visit. We must hear what our guest’s agenda and what they have to offer us, while we also have to share what we can offer and contribute, as well as share what we receive from our guests to others within our family & neighbors. Thus, being and becoming a Good Responsible Host to a special Guest.
Today we celebrate Christmas Day, the Birth of Jesus into our lives.
The entire Mystery of Incarnation – of God becoming Flesh is considered to be God’s visitation to his people. God, through His son Jesus, visited his people more than two thousand years ago. Through the birth of Jesus into our lives, God has paid us a visit. In Jesus, God has visited us. He became our Special Guest paying us a visit in life. And even after Jesus has returned to the Father, He still continuously “visits” His people now. Jesus “visits” His people through Us, Christians – who became God’s children who recognize, accept and welcome Jesus into our lives. God continues to visit our life and our world today through the ministers of the Church, through the Word of God being proclaimed, and through the sacraments especially the Eucharist that the Church celebrates. Jesus also makes His presence felt every time a community is gathered in His name. He also “visits” us through the ordinary events of our life.
Sad to say however, as the gospel would tell us, people in Jesus’ time who “did not know and accept Him” failed to recognize not only the time of God’s visitation but above all, to acknowledge God in Jesus. They missed the chance and the grace to be visited and blessed. They were very concerned about their own worldly hopes that their spiritual life was neglected. They interpreted the Bible in their own worldly sense instead of believing in the teachings of Jesus. Even today, there are still people who failed and is failing to acknowledge God’s visit to us through Jesus.
Even now in America today, there is a debate that they call “War on Christmas”. It is all about other people wanting to call and promote this season as “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” because they basically want to take away Jesus Christ from this holiday. We may notice these through Slogans in the media and advertisements around these days. More being said and promoted about “Happy Holidays” than “Merry Christmas” because they want to get rid of the Jesus story in the celebration. Even in Japan now, there is a display window in a shopping mall that sells cloths on display with a design background of Santa Claus crucified on a cross hoping to attract Christian shoppers for the holiday season.
But what is Christmas without Jesus Christ? Is there a Christmas without Jesus? Well, this season can be a holiday without Christ, but will it still be Christmas? … Not at all. Christmas without Christ will be just like a meaningless party celebration without the celebrant and guests. A holiday celebration and party without any meaning, except just to party. Yet still, there are people who do not welcome Jesus and reject Him because they fail and are failing to recognize and accept in Him the God visiting his people. And worse, Jesus is considered just a decoration, an added background display to their lavish & selfish lifestyles for the holidays.
Like the Jews during Jesus’ times, many times we may also fail to recognize Him. We fail to welcome Him and let Him enter into our life today. With our worldly concerns and affairs, we may have left the Lord behind on His own, neglected, and abandoned. He could have something more and better to offer us now with His visits, but we rather do our own thing and don’t mind Him at all. Thus, we sometimes missed and may have missed & wasted a lot of blessings and graces which we could have received from God.
Remember then that above all, these days are all about Christmas than holidays.
As we celebrate Christmas season, may we put Jesus Christ first in our lives and concerns especially during these pandemic times, may we now be more conscious of His “visits” to us and being with us, and may we be a Good worthy Host to our Special Visitor by recognizing Him, welcoming Him and letting Him stay in our life to protect & intervene for us. Amen. A Merry Blessed Christmas to Us All.