A very merry, blessed and joyous Christmas to all our readers, which we hope is filled with God’s grace and good cheer. Someone sent me this morning these words from Scott Hahn, which are worth reflecting on as we celebrate and rejoice with what families we have, or are part of, wherever you may be, far and wide.
The family is the key to Christmas. The family is the key to Christianity. Pope Saint John Paul II noted that everything good- history, humanity, salvation – passes by way of the family. When God came to save us, he made salvation inseparable from family life, manifest in family life. Since the family is the ordinary setting of human life, he came to share it, redeem it and perfect it. He made it an image and sacrament of a divine mystery. Salvation itself finds meaning only in familial relations.
Christ truly took on our human ‘form’, entering into time and space in the womb of the Virgin, being born at Bethlehem under the reign of Augustus in the pax Romana, with a guardian father of the line of David named Joseph, assuming into His divine Person a true body, soul, mind, emotions, so that He could say with the Roman poet Terence, ‘homo sum, et humani nihil a me puto’: ‘I am a Man, and nothing human is alien to Me’, that is, except sin, which is not really human, if one ponders it; and, yes, He chose to be a child of a true family, sanctifying and redeeming all that it means to be ‘human’.
In so doing, Christ allows us to truly become ‘like Him’, and like His heavenly Father. As the second-century Father and Doctor Saint Irenaeus put it so pithily:
For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.
And the final word from a 2006 Christmas homily of our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:
Only if people change will the world change; and in order to change, people need the light that comes from God, the light which so unexpectedly (on the night of Christmas) entered into our night.
So rejoice with the shepherds, the angels, and all the wise men throughout history; the victory is won, and our salvation is near at hand.
Christus natus est pro nobis, alleluia! Gaudeamus!