The Church waits in anticipation to celebrate the glorious Feast of the birth of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. This infant Messiah, was born into this world as a poor, homeless child. This child had to leave His homeland because the political powers of that time, felt this child would topple their political regime.
As two thousand years passed we have forgotten the harsh realities surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ and what He represented. Even today while we measure the success of the Christmas celebrations in terms of dollars spent in malls and the quantity of food eaten, homelessness, displacement and poverty abounds.
In the midst of extreme affluence and abundance hopelessness, poverty, and deprivation exist. As we celebrate this festival of peace we cannot avoid the presence of violence that stares us unblinkingly whether it is the police brutality, terrorism or even violent protests against structural violence. We sadly watch the politically powerful trying to do away with minimal state support the poor receive.
All these are sufficient to make us desperately give up hope. However, our Lord identified Himself in His birth and human life with the poor, and the dejected. The miracle of Christmas is found in the coming of the Messiah, who identifies Himself with those who have lost hope, those who are dejected, those who are displaced, those who are impoverished, those who are hungry, and those who are grieving. Christ offers hope, in the person of Himself. The One Who was born in the manger, offers the might of His arms, and lifts up those who are oppressed, grief-stricken, and poor. His presence is an invitation for all of mankind to experience the presence of a God Who cares, a God Who is present, and a God Who refuses to turn away from His people.
As we approach the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, it is our prayer that this Feast calls upon each of us, to not take the easy route of closing our eyes to the struggles of society. Rather, it is an invitation to take the narrow path, and be like Christ, and refuse to turn our back on our fellow brothers and sisters. It is an invitation to stand up to the policies that seek to minimize any kind of support to the poor.
It is our prayer, Christ our Hope, will be born not only in your hearts. May He, Christ the King, and Redeemer of our souls, sustain you and your loved ones on this Holy Day, and throughout the New Year!