Christmas marks the event 2018 (or so) years ago when God took on our human flesh and our human nature. It sounds crazy to imagine that God became one of us, but this is the radical step we believe He took. He did this in order to begin the process of repairing the relationship between Himself and humanity that was damaged in the Fall. We look at the Christ-child and see what a powerful act of trust and solidarity it was for God to become utterly vulnerable (is there anything more vulnerable than a baby?) We know that this vulnerability resulted in his eventual death, but He was vindicated when He rose from the dead.
Jesus was (and is) fully human and fully divine-a strange concept and hard for us to get our minds around. But this is especially important when we consider Jesus’ teachings, and then His death and resurrection. (His death and resurrection wouldn’t mean the same if it was just a human Jesus or a Jesus who was just God-in-disguise.)
At that first Christmas, God entered our world in a new and powerful and personal way. God united Himself with us in a bond of solidarity that even death could not destroy. Jesus is the face of God: if you want to know God, then get to know Jesus. We learn from His teachings. We are inspired by His example. We are healed by His message and his promise to always abide with us and in us. We are comforted by his words. We are challenged by them, too. He made it clear that following him would be difficult, and that those who did would be rejected by many. But he also made it clear that it was worth it.
We get to know Jesus by reading the New Testament in the Bible. We get to know Jesus by participating in the sacraments, by praying, by talking to Him and listening for His gentle response. We get to know Jesus by following His example and teachings. We get to know Jesus by loving as He loved and loves, by suffering as He suffered and suffers, by basking with Him in the triumph of the Resurrection. It all started with that first Christmas. Epiphany, sometimes called “little Christmas,” highlights this manifestation of God in Jesus.
May your week reflect the encounter with Christ we experienced at Mass today.