Liturgical Colour : Purple or Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, Son of God incarnate into the flesh of Man. If yesterday we listened to the messenger of God, John the Baptist, who would prepare the way for Christ and His coming, then fittingly today we heard about the coming of Christ Himself.
In the first reading we heard about king Ahaz of Judea who refused to ask for a sign from God, when he was asked to do so by the prophet Isaiah. Why did God show His displeasure as He said through Isaiah? That is because it was hypocrisy and unfaithfulness at best on the side of Ahaz. He and many of his ancestors have not been faithful to the Lord, worshipping the pagan idols, committing wickedness after wickedness, and abandoning the Lord their God who had blessed them so much.
In refusing to ask for a sign from God, Ahaz was a hypocrite, since he pretended humility and meekness, that as if he lowered himself before God, but in fact he was not genuine in that gesture. The Sign which God has intended to give to His people is a Sign of His Love and a Sign of His mercy and forgiveness, and Ahaz refused it in his hypocritical attitude.
And that sign, is the Virgin who would bear a Child, and the Child would be named Emmanuel, which means literally, ‘God is with us’ and this is significant. Some of us may ask, how come then the Royal Baby born of Mary was not then named as Emmanuel? Why was He named as Jesus? Jesus is the Name of our Lord, the Name above every other names, the terror at the hearts of all demons, but He also has many other titles and names.
In the same book of the prophet Isaiah, we know that the Child to be born of the Virgin is to be known as the Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God, and so on, and then, we also know that elsewhere in the Scriptures, the Child is also known as the Shoot of Jesse or the Shoot of David, the Son of David, Son of God and Son of Man. Emmanuel is one of His many titles, and its meaning underlines the very core of why we celebrate Christmas, that is God who dwells among us, His people.
Our Lord who is God has no need to be concerned about us. After all, He is God who is Almighty and sufficient in all things, and in love, He is perfectly united in love, the Three Aspects and Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit united in perfect love and harmony. Yet, He created us all out of His love, and He loved us all very much. To the point that even after we had sinned and deserved punishment and destruction, He was willing to forgive us and plan for our salvation.
And this salvation He had indeed given us through His own Son, part of His perfect Trinity, the Word, whom He sent into the world, so that from that moment on, God would truly dwell among His people, sharing their nature, inhabiting the flesh of Man, as the Son of Man, fully Man but also fully Divine at the same time. That is the wonder and mystery of Christmas, and one that we ought to celebrate with full and genuine understanding.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, God was willing to assume our lowly form, so that as a Human Being, He might suffer as we have suffered, and even more than that, so that He might bear the entirety of our sins and our iniquities. That even though He is innocent and pure, but He was punished for our sins, and by His wounds and His death on the cross, we are healed.
This Christmas, shall we reflect on these that we had just discussed? Our Christmas celebration is meaningless without Christ and without clear understanding of its true and real purpose. This is because if we do not understand, then our Christmas will be merely a loud fanfare without purpose and without reason, and it will be empty. Instead, we should place our focus on the true meaning of Christmas, that is our Lord, Emmanuel, God who is willing to dwell among His people out of His love for us.
In the remaining few days, let us prepare ourselves further, by discovering more and more about the love of God, which He made perfectly manifest through our Lord Jesus Christ, born in this Christmas Day. Let us follow Him and devote ourselves entirely to Him. Remember that He had loved us first, and we ought to also love Him back with all of our heart. God bless us all. Amen.
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