Jesus came into the world about 2000
years ago, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the stable of Bethlehem that cold
winter night. This was when He passed
from His eternal presence in the bosom of the Most Blessed Trinity into the historical
time frame into the world to save all of humanity. Because of that reason His name is “Jesus”
which means “Savior.
Jesus came to save all of humanity
from all that is evil: sin, slavery to sin, sadness and depression, the
trickeries of the devil, and hell—the eternal separation from God. How grateful
we should be for His coming among us--- Emmanuel, “God with us”.
Jesus was born in time 2000 years
ago, but He desires to be born again, every day in all times and places until
the end of time. How then is it that
Jesus can still be born today, now, this very instant? This will be the topic of our reflection and
meditation together. The ways and
manners are numerous, but we must have the eyes of the mystic to perceive His coming!
BAPTISM. Every time a Baptism is celebrated Jesus is
truly born in the soul of the baptized.
Not only is Jesus born in the soul, but also the other members of the
Blessed Trinity, the Father and the Holy Spirit. For that reason Jesus insisted in His conversation
with Nicodemus that one must be born twice--- once physically and then of water
and the Holy Spirit and this is the moment of Baptism. (Jn.3 Conversation
between Jesus and Nicodemus).
CONFESSION/RECONCILIATION. In the spiritual realm mortal sin is
spiritual death, the loss of the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit and the loss of Friendship with Jesus.
Good News! A confession
well-prepared, with true sentiments of sorrow and sincere desire to amend one’s
life results in Jesus being born in that soul.
What amazing and consoling words to hear: “I absolve you of your sins in the name of
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Through Sacramental Confession, Jesus is born once again in the depths
of the soul.
RECONCILIATION & MERCY. Pride, self-love, self-sufficiency often
leads to tensions and division between brothers and sisters. All of us who belong to the human race are
of the same family. We all descended
from Adam and Eve as our first parents; moreover, by praying the Our Father we
are admitting that God is our Father and we are all brothers and sisters in
Christ. When two alienated and
estranged brothers come together reconcile and make peace, then once again
Jesus is born in their hearts. The
Easter greeting of the Risen Lord was “Shalom”--- peace be with you!
LOVING AND SERVING THE POOR. Before even becoming a
Christian-Catholic St. Martin had an
experience that radically changed his life. It was a bitterly cold winter night
and Martin the soldier looked down as he rode on his horse and he saw a
half-naked man laying on the ground, shivering and half dead. Moved to compassion, Martin pulled out his
sword, cut his own cloak in half and gave the other half to clothe and warm the
naked man. That very night Martin saw in
a dream somebody wearing his cloak. However it was not the poor man that he
gave it to the night before but it was Jesus the Lord. This act of charity led to the conversion of
Martin to Catholicism, to Martin becoming a priest, then a Bishop, then the
most generous and kind of Bishops and then a saint. We honor him every year on Nov. 11th----Saint
Martin of Tours. Jesus was born in that
encounter between Martin and the poor, half-naked man. Jesus indeed said, “I
was naked and you clothed me….whatsoever you do the least of my brothers that
you have done for me…(Mt. 25).
JESUS IS BORN IN THE HOLY SACRIFICE
OF THE MASS. One of the four Dogmatic
Constitutions of the Documents of Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium reminds us
of various “Presences” of Jesus, but especially “The Real-Presence”. How then
is Jesus present and then born in the greatest of prayers—the Holy Sacrifice of
the Mass? God is present in the praying assembly because as Jesus tells us,
“Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them.” Then, He is
present in song. St Augustine chimes in:
“Whoever sings well prays twice.” Still
more, God speaks to us in His word when the Bible is read in the Mass, but
especially when the Gospel is being read it is actually Jesus Himself who is
speaking to us. One of the classical
definitions for the priest is “alter christus”, meaning, “another Christ”. As
such, God is present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through the person and
the ministry of the priest. However, of
greatest importance, Jesus is truly and substantially present in the moment of
Consecration in Mass when the priest takes the bread and wine and pronounces
the same words that Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Take and eat this is my
Body and Take and drink, this is my Blood. Do this in memory of me.” Truly, this is Christmas! In that precise moment of the double Consecration
Jesus is born. He becomes present
sacramentally but truly in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. “O come let us adore Him!”. Of course the
natural follow up of the CONSECRATION is the culminating moment of HOLY
COMMUNION. In this moment the well-disposed
hearts of the faithful receive Jesus into their hearts and once again Jesus is
truly born. Their hearts are
transformed into living “Bethlehems”--- meaning, “House of Bread”. The Christmas hymn, “O little House of
Bethlehem” is nothing less than human hearts receiving Jesus in Holy
Communion. Jesus who became the “Bread
of Life” (Jn. 6. The Bread of Life discourse) desires to be born in Bethlehem,
“The House of Bread” and to come into human hearts, “Living Bethlehems”. “O Come let us adore Him, Christ the
Lord.” Jesus indeed is truly present in
Holy Mass but especially in His “Real-Presence” in the greatest of all
Sacraments—the Holy Eucharist, the Bread of Life.