Christmas is that sublime mystery of the love of God, who loved us so much as to become one of us. As it is written, the mystery of the Incarnation tells of God’s excessive love. In order to envelop everyone in this love, God was born in a grotto among livestock and cattle, putting himself beneath his creatures where the poorest of the poor contemplated Him, enveloped in their own wretchedness.

Manger Epiphany Advent The Christmas Mystery
The Christmas Mystery

Celebrating Christmas means reawakening in our consciousness the love brought from Heaven to earth by Jesus, a love he shared through his life and word. Nowadays there is a special need to revive – and polish – and practice, the concept of love, because the human community risks becoming more and more unhappy due to its lack of love. Love raises a person to the level of Christ. In fact, the good (or the bad) we have done to a neighbour will be considered at the Final Judgment as done to Christ himself.

Christmas resurrects a taste for innocence and simplicity

From this shortage of love, and the incapacity to love each other, only boredom and sadness will be distilled. Returning love to our brothers and sisters today is to return joy, peace and life, and this is perhaps why Christmas resurrects a taste for innocence and simplicity. It uncovers that font of gladness which is Christ in the midst, as was the baby in the manger in the midst of Mary, Joseph and shepherds.

The Lord was born so that we might be reborn. He is the life, and we were – and are – in the darkness. We pass from darkness to life because we love our brothers and sisters. Christian commitment requires heroism rather than mediocrity, victory and not compromise. It desires life in freedom, which is freedom from any form of evil; from lack of physical strength, financial failure, disappointment in human relationships, and desolation in the midst of the world.

“ In Jesus, it was Love who was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and took on our humanity, inserting us in the life of God.”

The important thing is to never give up. Perhaps no one will tell you “Well done!” The medals will be pinned on other chests. Perhaps some will call you fanatical or naive. You’ll have to squeeze out of the desolation you feel, a more fervent longing for  God, and this will motivate you even more. There are some profound and simple words drawn from the depths of the divine life that describe your mission. They are the words of Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.” Salt gives flavour by hiding itself in the food. Light illuminates by silently penetrating.

A Christian’s behaviour should add flavour (salt) to life (if not, you don’t know what you’re living for and to what direction your life will take). You cannot ignore the misery in the world that is due largely to a lack of love. Love is the life of humankind. In Jesus, it was Love who was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and took on our humanity, inserting us in the life of God.

Igino Giordani in: Città Nuova, December 25, 1967 – No.23/24

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