by HG Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaios
Every festival brings in its festive train a central message, and that exactly is the content and significance of the feast. Christmas brings the evergreen message of the arrival of the Son of God as one among us, to be with us for ever.
The world has been and still is clouded by the illusions and empty glitter brought about by the forces of darkness and immorality. The birth of the Son of God effaced those shadows which intermittently assay to deflect our attention away from the Sun of Righteousness. Those who accept this free gift of light and life got transformed into His likeness; and they are free from the bondage of death and sin.
Jesus is "one who saves." It is this undying promise that is carried to all creation with the simplicity of Christmas carols. The "poor in spirit" everywhere would listen to it and are ravished by its beams. Shepherds are the primary witnesses to this treat, where earth and heaven assemble to rejoice and proclaim the good news to the world. The birth of Jesus has been described as 'heaven mildly touching the earth' by the Eastern Church Fathers.
Here heaven starts teaching us that "the meaning of life can be found only in some mysterious meeting between death and love" ( Louis Bouyer) . Christmas brings cheer to agonized hearts and lives - that they are not alone, God is with them! Christ came to carry our burdens and to die for us. Christmas begins to relate that long story of life on that quiet night in Bethlehem.
Here we are challenged to turn our eyes and minds to Nature as well as our brothers and sisters around. We are allowed to live in nature and be 'natural' in everything! The poor and neglected, who are with us in our own society, are the "fruit" of the callousness and neglect and greed of many like us. The query, 'why is he poor"? is rarely raised! This is an occasion to realize that there is a special place in the mind of God for the poor and the innocent suffering.
The Christmas stars tell the story of guidance - guiding people to their real destinations. This festival of light speaks volumes about those whose lives are darkened by sin, selfishness and arrogance. Let the Light of Christmas reach those lives which are marred by the darkness of injustice and immorality. It is an occasion to celebrate the love of God for us all, and to care for the poor and needy. Perhaps that is the real spirit of celebration behind these festivities. The celebration becomes meaningless unless every one of us has an inspired message for another one among us. Yes, we are the message! Let us kneel at the manger in faith, and touch the Holy Infant, and receive the inspired message for all. It is the scene of poverty, innocence and holiness. This is the poverty of heaven. God's poverty is richer than all the riches of this world!
May this Christmas bring us the blessings to imbibe the mind of Christ and decide to live naturally and care for the less fortunate. Then we see the Babe of Bethlehem smiling at us................Oh, that innocent smile of Jesus!
Wish you all a real Happy Christmas!
The Jesus of Christmas: Who was the baby in the manger?
So who was the baby in the manger? The answer to that question is the most important one in all history. For if Jesus was not who he claimed to be, his promise of eternal peace is empty. But if Jesus was who he claimed to be, then our lives can have no meaning without him.
As the clock strikes midnight, everyone gathers around the Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday with joyful greetings and gifts. Time passes away swiftly with all the excitement. And once everyone is in bed, a few hours later, the alarm sounds. Itís time to go to church for Christmas service in the early morning. Why go? What happens anyway?
Christmas Message from HH Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East
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