God Dwelt Among Us

He dwelt among us

Christmas calls us to live for the reason why Christ is born for us.

“Maria, get me some tea” That’s Maria’s husband Robert who suffered a stroke ten years back and has hemiplegia. He cannot bend for himself. He does drag himself around the place but she is fearful of him falling. He has fallen quite often. Since his stroke she has had to work as a maid to support her small family. Her employers too are preparing for Christmas, such grand decorations, such expense. She knows that she should not compare because the Child Jesus comes for all, yet she cannot help but wonder if all that expense is really necessary. She knows that He comes for the saint and the sinner alike, for the rich as well as the poor yet in her moments of despair she sometimes begin to doubt His existence.

Christmas has always been the most joyous occasion in her poverty stricken life – before marriage and after. The cleaning and white-washing of the house, the making of the few sweets and the visitors they receive are occasions to express love and sharing. It is nice to have someone over, it also makes Robert happy to talk to someone else for a change and not just wallow in his despair. It is the season when she knowingly tries to be extra patient with him and more forgiving. The infant Jesus changed the world. I feel extremely happy looking at His serene face and the loving looks of the faces of His parents. His birth radiates for the special message for her and for poor. She easily identify with His birth that is stable sans royal trappings, sans magnificent ceremonies. It was a people’s birth, a birth for the other. It also is the birth of Love, Goodness and giving.

I also think that the true meaning of Christmas is about possibility. It is not the kind of possibility that comes from a confidence in our own skill, knowledge, ability, or a positive mental attitude. It is the possibility that comes solely from the fact that God is the kind of God who comes into our own human existence to reveal himself and call us to himself. It is a possibility that is so surprising at its birth that we are caught unaware, and so are left with wonder at the simplicity of its expression in this infant child. It is a possibility that is easily symbolized by a helpless infant that has nothing of its own by which to survive; but an infant that, because He is Immanuel (God with us), will forever change the world and all humanity. It is this same God who has promised to be with us, with His people, with the Church and with us individually, as we live as His people in the world.

It is not just hope, as if it were wishful thinking that things will get better when they cannot. It is hope incarnated into flesh, a hope that can be held in a mother’s arms, a hope that expresses a reality that will live beyond endings and death itself. It is the hope, the possibility, which springs from impossible and insignificant beginnings, infused with the power of God through the Holy Spirit that will blossom into a light to the nations.

It is this possibility, this God that we celebrate at Christmas. And we do so with a confidence born not of our own desire for it to be so, but from the birth of a child over 2,009 years ago, a child who was the Son of God!

It’s in the right spirit of the season; we try to discover what is real Christmas in our lives. God had sent many prophets, priests, messengers and angels but people ignored them and He sent His only Son Jesus Christ. It is given in every Christmas time. Do we ever think of ‘why?’ Ramesh was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn’t believe all that stuff about incarnation which the Church proclaims at Christmas.

There was heavy rain began to pour down the flurry getting heavier and heavier. When he went to close the front door he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the rain. They’d had been caught in the rain, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window.

“I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and die,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” Then he remembered the barn where the children’s pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He put on his rain-coat and tramped through the deep ending rain to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn’t come in. “Food will bring them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the rain. He tried shoeing them in the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction-except into the warm, lighted barn. “They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself. “And I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety…”

Just at that moment, the Church bells began to ring. He stood silently for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I do understand,” he whispered. “Now I know why YOU had to do it.”

Jesus came to this world to be with us and show the presence of God in our everyday lives. In this Christmas Let us realize the true meaning of Christmas and also be presence of Jesus to others who are in need of us, who are depressed, who are marginalized, who are treated badly and suppressed physically and psychologically, who need us our presence in their sorrow and give the message of God’s love to them. Let us make a difference and make the real meaning of coming of Jesus in our lives and others.

– – – written by Bro. John Singarayar SVD

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