Sisters and Brothers gathered to glorify God on the night on his Nativity!
The most amazing day in the history wasn’t when God created the universe. The most amazing day in the history wasn’t even when God created the first people in his own image. The most amazing day in the history was when out of love for us people, God became one of us as the Prophet Isaiah said: “There is a child born for us, a son given to us.” These simple words amazed the angels who witnessed the moment. These simple words amazed Mary and Joseph as they were looking at the tiny little person lying in the manger. These simple words have amazed millions Christians who, since that first Christmas Day 2000 years ago, have treasured their faith that because of Jesus Christ God will never abandon our human world. Like the swan I saw in the duck pond, God the Father has bound himself to us for good.
When we compare our Earth to the whole universe it does look like an insignificant pond. When we take the life of a single person it looks even smaller. The earth may look insignificant in the universe but as long as there are people walking here it is God’s world.
Tonight looking at you I see the reason why this planet is so special. It is because of you. It is because of love God bears for you. Tonight’s Christmas Gospel isn’t just about an event which happened centuries ago but it is a message for us here to give us faith that no matter how big our sins may be they cannot put God off. We cannot discourage God because we are the reason he his here, because of us and for us he has sent his only Son here.
That’s why a good Christmas is the one leaving us with belief that this life of mine; with all its joys and concerns, with all my awkward behaviour; is still God’s world. Even if I feel sometimes that my life looks more like smelly dirty water in the duck pond; Jesus Christ doesn’t have a problem to get there. Like 2000 years ago when he entered our human world as God and human in one person, he didn’t get dirty but he made purer those who came to believe in him.
A few days ago I read some reflection written by a priest who is in charge of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Paris. In this magnificent building there is exposed the consecrated host, which as we believe is the Body of Jesus. Day and night bishops and priest, nuns, brothers and lay people come to pray there. It’s been going for 125 years now, without a break. At night the church is illuminated to remind the people of Paris that they are prayed for there. A few years ago all the lights went out. However the priest said that it was the most glorious night in his life as he spent the whole night on the phone. People kept ringing and asking: “What’s wrong? Are you closing the church? Aren’t you praying any more? Have you given up on us?”
I hope that as you return home from this Mass you may believe that your life is lived against the background of God who has become a man out of love for you. If you feel that he is gone it is just because you cannot see him at the moment not because he has withdrawn himself from this world.
Sisters and Brothers! I pray tonight so that the amazement filling this Holy Night could grow in you into desire to make more and more room for this little person known to the world as Jesus Christ, but who is known to us as our Saviour.