Christmas is a sure sign of God’s love for us.
During these past weeks of Advent, we have been preparing our hearts for the arrival of the Christ child. A time of quiet anticipation, Advent lays out a path toward Jesus’ birth at Christmas. This is evident in the presentation of our churches, with low-key decorations, music and elimination of other festive details.
By doing so, the Church helps us to make room in our hearts and minds, and gives us a space to quietly contemplate amid the hectic preparations that take place in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The Christmas season, by contrast, is a great time of celebration in which we are called to share God’s love with others, with the innocence of a child.
At a recent gathering at the Vatican, Pope Francis told families that “Jesus, who came into the world as a child, believes in a world on a child’s scale, on the scale of everyone. He made us understand this by being born in Bethlehem. But even today, He makes Himself close to the children of every country and people, and He does so every day. It is the style of God, which is described in three words: closeness, compassion and tenderness. This is God’s style, there is no other.”
The pope also said that we can celebrate a “real Christmas” by recognizing Jesus in our lives and cultivating peace in our hearts. It’s important that we have a heart at peace, because “an anxious heart cannot seek God, cannot maintain a relationship with God,” he said. It is important to find serenity, even when experiencing suffering or difficulties.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has been a source of anxiety for many. In his Christmas message, Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski noted that part of what God shows us is that in the midst of the struggles and anxieties of the pandemic, He brings us the gifts of peace and reconciliation.
This Christmas, we must do our part to put Christ at the center of all that we celebrate. We are called during this season — not just one day — to share the Good News of Jesus’ birth, and the important role it plays in salvation history. We cannot keep that message to ourselves.
In doing so, we have the opportunity to create immense peace in our hearts. And through our example, we are able to share that peace with others.