God who is holy and mighty, left His heavenly home and came to dwell with us to redeem the entire humanity. The love of God is, therefore, revealed through the newborn baby Jesus.
Who Is This Child?
“The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has created the world; it shall never be moved. Your throne was established from of old; you are from all eternity” (Psalm 93:1-2). The words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary echo these words, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Upon studying these verses and contemplating on the life of Jesus, we can understand why the Magi (the three wise kings) visited a child from such a humble family who was born in a manger. The baby in Mary’s arms is not only the King and Lord of all, but also the Saviour of the world. The story of salvation now begins to unfold; everyone who comes into contact with this Divine Child and embraces the new life that streams from Him, will be saved.
Named for a Purpose
This Divine Child was not named by Joseph, His foster-father, nor by His mother, Mary. He was named by the Almighty God and given the name Jesus, which means ‘Saviour’. Life is a gift from God. Even before we were conceived, God has chosen us to accomplish a specific purpose here on earth. “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2:10). This purpose is uniquely designed for each one of us. This is the end of our identity search. We come to the realization that it is the Lord who named us, who designates our purpose in His kingdom, that our parents are custodians of our life while we are here on earth, and that His desire is to have all of us with Him in heaven. This means that parents have a divine responsibility for each child that they are blessed with. It is for this reason that the Holy Family becomes the icon upon which every family on earth is meant to learn from.
A Life of Purpose
For the Divine Child to arrive and accomplish His purpose, it required a ‘Yes’ from Mary. Her ‘fiat’ changed the course of history for all of humanity, even though the task at hand was huge for such a teenage girl to grasp. The Lord desires each one of us to say ‘Yes’ to Him every day, to choose Him over and above everything else, to accept Him to rule and reign over our heart and life, to trust Him through everything and above all, to love Him. We can always look up to and learn from Mary how to say ‘Yes’ to God, even when we don’t understand. God constantly challenges those who believe in Him to “to go forth.” Abraham received the call to set out for a new land (Genesis 12:1-3). Moses heard God’s call, “So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10). To Jeremiah God said, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you” (Jeremiah 1:7). In his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis highlights the fact that each one who is a believer of the Lord Jesus, has a mission to accomplish here on earth. Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This is how the risen Christ has sent His followers to preach the Gospel, so that faith in Him might spread to every corner of the earth. Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples” still holds as true today as when it was given to His disciples. Every Christian must discern the path that the Lord points out for them and must obey His call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to spread the Gospel.
by Anney Ngugi from Ireland