Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Power of Christmas

"Do not be afraid.

Because even in this darkest of nights, there is light. A Savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. He is our hope.

He didn’t come in grandeur or majesty, to intimidate us. He came as the most helpless and dependent creature of all: a baby, in a manger, in Bethlehem. He loves us so much, God came to us as someone we could not help but love.

So, do not be afraid!
A couple weeks ago I told the story of a Muslim woman in Iraq who – despite the great danger to her life — is converting to Christianity. She’ll be baptized a Catholic next Easter. That Muslim woman is living this gospel message. She is not afraid. And she bears witness to this astonishing fact: the Incarnation continues. Christ is still coming to us.

If God makes that possible, imagine what other miracles He has in store.

Yes: on this night, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

A savior has been born.

And he continues to be born in our hearts, if only we will allow it to happen.

That, I think, is the great power of Christmas, the reason why year after year that beautiful passage from Luke resonates. Christmas is about redemption, yes. But it is also about God’s overpowering love for us – His reassurance to a troubled, frightened, war-torn world that He is with us, through everything.

He dreams with us.

He struggles with us.

He grieves with us.

And: He hopes with us.

Remember his name. Emmanuel. God is with us.

So do not be afraid.
In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Linus Van Pelt: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Merry Christmas, everyone."