My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
It is very difficult for us, if not impossible, to have a relationship that is intimate and binding, with an idea or a concept no matter how noble it might be. God understood this when He revealed Himself to us as a person and allowed us to see Him in the person of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. By sending Him to earth in the form of mankind, our heavenly Father fully revealed Himself to us. Jesus is, as St. Paul wrote, God "in human form" (I Timothy 316).
Jesus Christ made this point clear when He said to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 149). This is exactly what the good news of Christmas is - that God has shown us what He is like, in the person of His Son, and has invited us to establish a personal relationship with Him. The tiny infant that Mary cradled, in a Bethlehem manger, was the "visible likeness" of our invisible God (Colossians1:15).
As the day of Christmas approaches, let us be mindful of the words of the angel who told the shepherds, "This very day in David's town your Savior was born -- Christ the Lord!" (Luke 2:11). As we prepare to celebrate this Holy Day, let us not forget who Christ is. Looking into the face of our Savior we can see and meet the holiness, the grace and the love of our eternal and heavenly Father.
But if this is to happen; we must abandon, if even for a short time, the mindless and consuming pursuit of our worldly goals and follow the example of the shepherds who "hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger" (Luke 2:16). And having come and met the child, they realized that they were gazing at God who came to this earth for our sake. That is why "the shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen" (Luke 2:20).
Let us resolve to make this Christmas the day, in which we come to meet God in the person of Jesus Christ and prove to ourselves that Jesus Christ is Emmanuel - "God is with us" (Matthew 1:23). When the shepherds came, they discovered that "It had been just as the angels had told them" (Luke 2:20). This is the greatest gift that we may receive.
In Our Blessed Lord. M+