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On this Christmas Day, the most beautiful day in our Christian life, we remember the immensity and the depth of God’s love for each one of us. As poet Donne says, it is a great event when man is raised to the status of divine glory but it is an incredible blessing when God comes down to the level of a mortal being. That is what we celebrate on Christmas Day--w God becoming man.

There was a millionaire in New York who loved collecting paintings of great artists. He had a son and he took his son with him whenever he went to buy these great masterpieces. He wanted to make his son a lover of great works of art. When the son finished school, he was drafted into the army. One day, the father got the saddest news of his life—the death of his only son. After a few months, a young soldier, a friend of his son, came to visit him with his belongings. Along with that, he gave the father a self-portrait in pencil drawing done by his son. It was not a beautiful drawing. But the father loved it very much and left it on the mantle over the fireplace. When the millionaire died, it was announced that his paintings would be auctioned off. A lot of people came to offer their bids. The first one to be auctioned off was the self-portrait of the son. As nobody showed any interest in getting it, the gardener offered a bid for $100 and the drawing was given to him. When that bid was accepted the auctioneer announced that the auction was closed. Those rich people who came for the auction felt cheated and there were loud protests. Then the auctioneer announced that it was specified in the will that the one who would get the portrait of the son would get all his paintings. The father loved his son so much that he gave up everything to the one who loved his son.

Christmas is the greatest love story of the world. Our Father loved us so much that He sent his only son to the world to save us (Jn.3:16).

It is this love of the Father that we celebrate today. The birth of our Lord signifies the undying love of the Father for each one of us.

Any one can share this moment of joy. There is no one on earth who can in any way say that he cannot identify himself or herself with Jesus born in the manger. No one can be born lower than he was born.

Christmas is the universal feast of mankind. The high and the low, the poor and the rich and the sick and the healthy can find joy and peace in his presence. To all, Jesus conveys the message of love. Nobody is beyond the protection of God’s love.

The helplessness of Jesus as a babe is a powerful source of strength to all of us suffering from insult and discrimination, from neglect and envy, from calumny and hatred. The weakness of Jesus gives us strength in times of our own weakness and helplessness. When we are neglected and ignored and when we are not given due consideration for our sincere work and hard struggles for the good of the family or of institutions, we know we are not alone and that no one can freely trample down upon us. The incarnate Son of God is our strength. As the shepherds went in haste to see the child, so too, in those moments of pain and struggle, we should go in haste to meet Jesus and experience the peace that He gives us.

At the World Youth Day at Cologne, the Holy Father, speaking of the Magi, said that the Magi were guided by the star on their way to Bethlehem, but when they returned, the star was not in heaven but was in their hearts.

Today as we celebrate Christmas, the star of love should be in our hearts. Today is the day for reconciliation and forgiveness. The lights that are shining outside should be shining inside our hearts. We can then say with the angels to all those who meet us: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to those on whom his favor rests.”


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