“A Child Is Born for Us, and A Son Is Given to Us” (Is 9:5)
Sisters and Brothers in Christ!
Today, we celebrate Christmas, the Birthday of Christ.
Who is Christ? Why is the whole world so excited at His birth?
Christ is the first of the two very well-known words that complete Name of the Founder of Christianity: Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Palestine, two thousand and eighteen years ago.
His coming into the world had been foretold by the Holy Bible, the Sacred Book that teaches us the very Word of God.
It is thanks to the Holy Bible that we learn the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Whom God sent to our world, as His Messenger, to teach us about God’s divine merciful love; that Jesus Christ is also the powerful Savior of humanity. God sent Him to free us from all forms of slavery to the forces of evil. Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans, Chapter 5, verse 12, tells us the truth that “through one person, sin entered the world, and through sin death, and thus death came to all, in as much as all sinned.” The Holy Bible reminds us of the failure of the first man, Adam, in the fight against temptation of Satan. Indeed, sin is the root of suffering in the world. After we have committed sin, we are separated from God, the very source of love, peace and happiness. God, the compassionate and forgiving Father did not want to leave us in sin and death. He decided to send His Son to save us.
How did Jesus come to rescue us? Neither with military might nor with economy power, the Son of God came as a baby, so fragile, so powerless. He took our human weakness. He sided with us in the long journey back to man’s original innocence when we were created in the very image of God, as it was written in the Book of Genesis, Chapter I, verse 27.
The Great Prophet Isaiah, in Chapter 9, verse 5, introduces Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world as the lovely child, born for us, meaning to say that He was born just to offer His own life one day on the cross to obtain for us God’s divine mercy and forgiveness; but He is, at the same time, the Beloved Son of God, Whom God the Father gave us as a gift. A gift can by no means be compared to a payment, not even to a reward. People pay you because you have done some good service for them. You have right to receiving a reward for having won in a competition. We have done nothing good in committing sin, and so, offending God.
God gave us Jesus, His Only Beloved Son, as the evident and convincing proof of His unconditional and unlimited love.
This is I think the reason why every year we gather here to say thank you to God the Father for always loving us, for always forgiving us, for always guiding us on the way of truth and life within Jesus Christ himself.
So again we have good reason to greet one another.
Maligayang Pasko sa iyong lahat!
Xin chúc mừng Giáng Sinh hạnh phúc và đầy ơn Chúa!
Fr. Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Nhứt, O.P.