The birth of Jesus reveals God’s fulfillment in His plan of salvation for His people. He is faithful and fulfills His promise. He takes the initiative to intervene and bring healing into our broken world. Jesus said that we cannot do without Him. His birth signals the good news that the kingdom of wholeness has come. He is the embodiment of the kingdom of God. The reign of Satan is ended. Salvation is wholeness, completeness and total so that we become persons of integrity and undivided in a world that is so much fragmented and divided. Jesus destroys all forms of separation and division. He brings people to Himself and restores them to a right relationship with God. But the gift of salvation requires an obedience of faith. It requires our response of openness, receptivity and belief. God does not impose on us. He respects our freedom. He continues to invite and appeal to our freedom so that we collaborate with Him. Like Mary and the saints, we are called to cooperate with grace and to make Him shine in our lives. Grace builds on nature. It does not replace our humanity and freedom but enhances, enables, strengthens, empowers and heals our humanity. It accompanies and guides us so that we are able to go through life renewed, purified and strong. The fire of God purifies what is good and destroys what is evil in us. The visit of God happens in a believing and receptive heart because it is a space where God can make all things new. A receptive and believing heart is a heart that is willing to learn to love generously, freely, extravagantly and abundantly. Only those who say yes to God will give birth to a Savior. That is why, this Christmas God wants to be born in our hearts. By saying yes to God, we make Him visible in our lives. The beauty of Advent and Christmas is not the pretty decoration outside of our lives but the radical call to give our lives to God who alone can make us beautiful inside and outside.

Merry Christmas!