“God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof. Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it. Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.” ― (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas).
On this holy night, while we contemplate the Infant Jesus just born and placed in the manger, we are invited to reflect. How do we welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close? “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to seek me, find me and caress me with tenderness. The question put to us simply by the Infant’s presence is: do I allow God to love me? (Pope Francis, December 24, 2014)
Let us give our concerns to our Lord Jesus, giving Him everything in our lives that needs redemption and healing. Let us celebrate His birth in Bethlehem and His coming again and into our lives as the greatest Gift of all, by gratefully receiving the gifts of life and salvation He gives. And, let us rejoice that this Gift of a Savior frees us to be as Christ to our neighbor, making a difference in the lives of others.
May the blessings of the Christ Child bring you peace and joy in this Christmas Time and in the coming New Year 2018! And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!