God of Simplicity. Fr. Prince Chakkalayil CST
With the blessed memories of holiness and simplicity once again the season of Christmas is approaching us. When the whole world welcomes this day with Christmas cards, Santa Claus, Christmas Tree, Crib etc, let us prepare our hearts to be a suitable place for Jesus to take birth.
The Child Jesus in the manger rewrites all our assumptions and prejudices about God. Jesus through his incarnation washed away the traditional belief of the people that God is a judge who sits somewhere in the skies to watch each and every actions of the human beings to punish the evil doers and bless those who do good. In Job’s cry to the Lord we get a feeling that God is far away from the pains and agonies of the people on earth. Amidst his miseries Job cries to the Lord: “For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment” (Job 9: 32). Jesus in the manger becomes an answer for the cry of the people to God for help and salvation in their miseries. Because now on God is always with us; and he is called Emmanuel (Mt 1: 23).
God who is Emmanuel is not a concept that is hidden somewhere in the skies rather he is a reality near to you. He has fully experienced the pains, agonies, anxieties and sorrows of the human life. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his encyclical ‘Caritas in Varitate’ exhorts us that it is to the broken experiences of the people that the Emmanuel comes down from heaven. Thus Christmas becomes the feast of the last, lost and the least ones of the society. The celebration of Christmas reminds that no one of us is left alone in the difficult moments of our life because the Almighty who emptied himself to the insecurity of the manger is always with us.
It was the simple and ordinary people like Mother Mary, St. Joseph and the shepherds who were blessed to have the Emmanuel experience – Jesus in their lives. So let us also humble ourselves so that we may be able to give birth to Jesus in our hearts.