The feast of the birth of Christ gives hope to all. Hope for a better world, hope for an end to conflict violence and peace. The Prophet Isaiah reminds us of that as he writes: “The People who walked in Darkness have seen a great light… for a child is born to us, a son is given us… they name him… Prince of Peace” (Is 9,1-6). In the dark of this world, hope is born in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
Throughout this year we have felt darkness seemingly advance. We have witnessed acts of great brutality and barbarity both in our land and abroad. It is with all this in mind, that we celebrate Christmas. This feast is not just a local custom or a cultural celebration. We celebrate Christmas invoking the Prince of Peace, praying for light to shine in our darkness.
May our act of worship and adoration of the Prince of Peace lead us to action. Wherever we are and whenever we can, let us be people of peace and reconciliation. Let us boldly invite others to bow before the Infant Jesus humbly acknowledging that without him, true peace is not possible.
Happy Christmas to all! ~ Fr. Marc André Campbell
A CHILD IS BORN ….
In appearance, just another of the world’s many children. A Child is born in a stable in Bethlehem. He is born in a condition of extreme deprivation: poor among the poor. But the One who is born is "the Son" par excellence: Filius datus est nobis. This Child is the Son of God, of one being with the Father. Foretold by the Prophets, he was made man by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a Virgin, Mary.
In the austere poverty of the crib we contemplate "a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk 2:12). In the vulnerable and weak newborn babe who cries in the arms of Mary, "the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men" (Tit 2:11). Let us pause in silence and worship!
O Child, who willed to have for your crib a manger;
O Creator of the universe, who stripped yourself of divine glory;
O Redeemer, who offered your vulnerable body in sacrifice for the salvation of humanity!
May the radiance of your birth light up the night of the world.
May the power of your message of love thwart the proud snares of the evil one.
May the gift of your life make us understand ever more clearly the worth of the life of each human being.
Too much blood is still being shed on the earth! Too much violence and too many conflicts trouble the peaceful coexistence of nations! You come to bring us peace. You are our peace! You alone can make of us "a people purified" and belonging to you for ever, a people "zealous for good deeds" (Tit 2:14). For to us a Child is born, to us a son is given! What an unfathomable mystery is hidden in the humility of this Child! We would like to touch him; we would like to embrace him.
You, Mary, who keep watch over your all-powerful Son, grant us your eyes to contemplate him with faith; grant us your heart to worship him with love.
In his simplicity, the Child of Bethlehem teaches us to rediscover the real meaning of our existence; he teaches us "to live sober, upright and godly lives in this world" (Tit 2:12).
~ from Homily of JOHN PAUL II, Christmas Eve 2003