“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2: 10-12)
The shepherds run with haste to see what the angels proclaimed to them, and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger, and they went away glorifying and praising God for what they had seen. In the newborn child, God is making a gift of Himself to us. He has not abandoned us, but has come to us in the most unimaginable and humble of ways, a baby.
Looking at a helpless baby, we see how life is a gift. A gift that is beyond our own making and given to us by God. A child moves our hearts in wonder at such a precious gift. In the incarnation, God has come to us in the most nonthreatening of ways. It is a mystery of God’s love for us that He would become small and invite us to receive this gift of Himself.
It is a mystery, in the theological sense, because we cannot fully comprehend it or understand it through reason alone. We cannot fully penetrate it with the human intellect. It is revealed to us and we accept it in faith. It seems too good to be true, almost bewildering, how God has not abandoned us but actually become one of us in becoming a little child.
He invites us to let Him into our hearts, and to accept His saving love for us. Through His forgiveness of our sins, we can know a new peace in our hearts and enjoy a new life that comes from Him. This new life is made visible in the Christ Child, and by coming to Him in faith, with the haste of the shepherds, we can enjoy this new life.
In “God being with us”, something new has begun for mankind. His kingdom has begun and the world is being directed by providence to be made new in Jesus in the glory of His second coming. A new beginning has occurred with a definitive consummation, yet to come at the end of time. This coming fulfillment is underway and it gives us hope in the present, along with a joy and peace that God has not abandoned His people.
Fr. Mark Mary, MFVA