Malankara World

Christmas - The Birthday of Jesus

Advent Season

by Pope Benedict XVI, November 27, 2005

In Advent, Christians relive a dual impulse of the spirit: on the one hand, they raise their eyes towards the final destination of their pilgrimage through history, which is the glorious return of the Lord Jesus; on the other, remembering with emotion his birth in Bethlehem, they kneel before the Crib.

The hope of Christians is turned to the future but remains firmly rooted in an event of the past. In the fullness of time, the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary: "Born of a woman, born under the law", as the Apostle Paul writes (Gal 4: 4).

Advent: Every Child Born is a Sign

Hope is indelibly engraved in the human heart because God our Father is life, and for eternal life and beatitude we are made.

Every child born is a sign of trust in God and man and a confirmation, at least implicit, of the hope in a future open to God’s eternity that is nourished by men and women. God has responded to this human hope, concealing Himself in time as a tiny human being.

Saint Augustine wrote: “We might have thought that your Word was far distant from union with man, if this Word had not become flesh and dwelt among us” (Conf. X, 43, 69, cited in Spe Salvi, n. 29).

Thus, let us allow ourselves to be guided by the One who in her heart and in her womb bore the Incarnate Word.

O Mary, Virgin of expectation and Mother of hope, revive the spirit of Advent in your entire Church, so that all humanity may start out anew on the journey towards Bethlehem, from which it came, and that the Sun that dawns upon us from on high will come once again to visit us (cf. Lk 1: 78), Christ our God. Amen.

Source: Pope Benedict XVI - From his homily given on the first Sunday of Advent, December 1, 2007 at St. Peter’s Basilica

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