“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us” (Mt 1:23).
How consoling and strengthening words are, these for the faithful that ‘God is with us’. He is going to be with you always in all your life situations, happy moments, bitter experience, hard realities, because he is born to be with us. St. John uses the Greek word ‘Skeneyo’ for mentioning about the birth of Jesus. ‘Skeneyo’ means ‘pitched its tent among us’. It reminds an incident in the book of Exodus. And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them (Ex 25:8). Exodus 33:7-11 clearly explains about this sanctuary. “Everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting”. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each of them, at the entrance of their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses. “Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Ex 33:11). St. John uses this particular term for the birth of Jesus “Word became flesh and lived among us” (Jn 1:14). Through this he means God is pitching the tent among us. Glory To God In The highest.
The nativity of Jesus reminds us how we should experience the presence of God in our life situation. He is not up somewhere in the sky after the creation. He is being among the creatures. Let’s be aware of this presence of God with us. In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (Jn 1:4-5).
Fr Bineesh Mankunnel CST