CAMPUS PADRE Offers food for thought
2000 years ago the Son of God was born, and everything changed. Our Father so loved the world, that in the fullness of time he sent his Only Begotten son to be our savior. Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy. To accomplish the Father’s plan, he gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life.
The Annunciation, when Mary said yes and the power of the Holy Spirit descended upon her, is the moment when God launched the ‘boots on the ground’ operation of salvation. God didn’t just humble himself to come to earth as a human. He came as a helpless infant, born in a stinky barn surrounded by animals and dependent upon a man and a woman and their family and friends. He became one of us, and forever “God with us.” He would come to know hunger and thirst, obedience and humility, joy and pain, suffering and death. This Holy Family became homeless and were soon to become refugees in a foreign land.
This Child, who reveals God to man and man to himself will bring us an abiding peace that surpasses understanding, if we let ourselves be embraced by him. He came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find Him. He will teach us what is truly essential. He will empower us that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose again for us, that, gathered into one body by the Holy Spirit, we may truly become a living sacrifice in Christ to the praise of the glory of God.
The beauty of this Feast of the Nativity is so much more than the powerful moment of the birth of the only begotten Son. It is wrapped in layers God’s love for us and ours for God. The YES of Mary, of Joseph, of Elizabeth and Zechariah. The yes of the shepherds, the Maji and even the owner of the stable. Faithful obedience continued to unfold just as a flower blooms to reveal something even more beautiful.
Each Christmas we contemplate this mystery of our God who became man. We gaze upon this child and contemplate His life, death and resurrection; that He will take bread and transform it into his body and abide with us, Emmanuel in the mystery of the Eucharist. He is born in Bethlehem, which literally means ‘the house of bread’. God becomes man. Bread becomes God. He, who rested in a manger, now rests in our entire being, as we receive him in the mystery of the Mass.
Christmas is a day to first and foremost reflect on all of these things; like Mary to ponder them our hearts and to more fully enter into this most incredible mystery.
(Audio Recording of the Vigil Mass)
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.