by Mother M. Ingeborg, FSGM
“But when the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).
I often wondered what made this time the “designated time.” Was it Mary’s fullness of grace and total openness to the love of God? Were there many people yearning for the presence of God? Would mankind have gone completely to evil ways? It is a mystery for us.
It is the same as the second coming. Two thousand years ago, the apostles thought Jesus would come back soon. No one but the Father knows. This is another incomprehensible mystery for us.
Our own life is a total mystery. We do not know anything for certain. I can die at any time. I can get sick at any time. Everything can go wrong in my life at any time. What do I really know for certain? I do know that God loves me. That is the only certainty of my life. And truly it is enough.
That is what Christmas is all about. God loves us and sent his only Son down to earth to redeem us and thus open heaven for us. Why as a baby? If we would want to accomplish something significantly great, would we choose a helpless baby? A tiny, helpless baby immediately conquers every heart. No one is afraid of a baby. But a “Baby God?” The three kings knelt down at his crib.
Throughout the centuries, we have adored the Child of Bethlehem. As children, we did it with great love and emotion. We loved the Christ Child and believed he brought all our gifts at Christmas. Growing up, we did not believe that he brought material gifts, but he filled out hearts with love and joy. We believed because God had given us this gift of unshakeable faith.
These days, Christmas is almost drowned with material gifts. Why gifts at Christmas? Because we have received this wonderful gift from God. Instead of kneeling down silently before this great mystery, we rather worry about Christmas gifts. It is all right to show our love for others by giving them nice gifts. But do we give the Christ Child a gift? All he wants is out hearts, our lives. How do I do that? Jesus said that what we do to our neighbors, we do to him. So, let us love everyone at Christmas, being good to friends and enemies.
Who knows? It might be the last Christmas. Only the Father knows, and he does not tell us. All is a great mystery. But the greatest mystery is that God loves us and sends us his Son as a little baby.
A blessed Christmas to all of you.