Christmas, a gift of a new heart to the world

Behold, a Virgin shall be with a child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call him –Emmanuel- which means, ‘God with us’. Every 25th December we celebrate Christmas, the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is an occasion to share our love, our happiness and joy with others.

It is the best time that we can renew ourselves. These days however, do we see Christmas in its true sense or is it something else altogether?

Today, so much focus is directed on external things like shopping, latest lights, decorations, dances, different types of activities, entertainment and all merry making in the name of the birth of Jesus. Some of the things do not have any relevance to Christmas at all. In fact during the time of preparation of the coming of Christ, everyone is so busy attending celebrations and parties.

Remember when Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was born. This signifies humility and simplicity.

Earlier everyone would prepare Christmas sweets at home. Today, we place orders. And everything is available at one’s doorstep after just a phone call. And we are so happy to get everything ready-made in a commercially driven world.

Where is the joy of preparing sweets, decorations and cribs at home? Today’s children do not value all this. For most of us Christmas is the time to enjoy, have fun, parting and to make merry. Is the true meaning of the festival lacking in the modern fast paced era in Goa?

Christmas is the season of joy as God came down to be among us.” He came to share in our joy, sufferings, and happiness and brighten our lives. So we have to prepare for Christmas in a true spirit. At least during this time of the year we should make some time for the less fortunate ones, the poor and the needy. We have to touch the hearts of others by showing concern for them.

Christmas is also the time for prayers, confession and reconciliation in preparation to welcome the Lord among us. Only then we will receive God’s blessings and we can celebrate Christmas in a worthy manner.

Are we prepared for Christmas?

True Christmas means – Mother Mary, Joseph and Jesus. And the greatest meaning of Christmas is ‘Acceptance’ where Joseph accepted Mary. And Mary said yes to Angel Gabriel. She accepted to be the mother of Jesus our Saviour who came to redeem us. All the other things are just external and not many of us display the meaning of Christmas.

We should ask the Lord to give us the Grace to renew our hearts to help each one of us to accept our situations at home and workplace, and to share whatever we have, may be clothes or sweets with the less fortunate ones. Help us to celebrate Christmas in true spirit not only externally with all the decorations and fun activities but to prepare our hearts and to listen to your message, to shun the ways of the world and come to You in humility and in truth, justice, understanding and love. May the Lord grant us the gift of patience and help us to love each other. May Jesus, strengthen our faith and bless us as we prepare for His coming. Lord seeks to take birth in our hearts. But our hearts are not warm and welcoming, Jesus has knocked on our doors for help but we have failed to recognize and hear Him, as we are so engrossed in our own chores. Many a time the Lord is longing to hear a kind, reassuring word from us. A warm greeting, a pleasant smile, is all that He wants. But we have shown our pride and ego. Lord, may this Christmas we see and recognize Jesus in all human beings. May we be instruments to proclaim God’s message of love and forgiveness. That we may be peace bearers and joy givers to this troubled world. That we may reach out to others and have care and concern for them.

We spend money and time lavishly on all material things when we have thousands of our brothers and sisters who do not even have a meal on Christmas day. Father we thank You for the gift of Jesus to us. Grant us Lord, as we honour with joyful devotion the Nativity of Your son, that we may come to know with fullness of faith the hidden depths of this mystery and to love Him ever more. Lord, our God, we who are gladdened by the participation in the feast of our Redeemer’s Nativity, may through an honorable way of life become worthy of God’s Children in this world and the next.

By Francisca F. Da Costa