“They shall name Him Emmanuel, which means ’God is with us’ – Matthew 1:23
In just one week, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God becoming man, a creature like one of us. This is almost too much to behold; indeed, without the faith of Mary and her willing response, “let what you have said be done to me” and the faith of Joseph who “did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him,” it is too much to behold. Thank God for faith!
There is so much to love about Christmas: the crèche, the tree, the music, the gifts, the family get-togethers, and for some, even the shopping. But above and beyond all this is what our faith celebrates: Christ was born in Bethlehem to Mary and God is with us. Slowly repeat those four words four times, each time emphasizing a different word. What an awesome realization!
To me, that is the true marvel of Christmas. The Creator has become one of His creation. Our God has come to dwell among us as one of us. When He walked this earth, He knew the joys and sorrows of everyday life just as we know them. He knew smiles and frowns, good days and bad days, satisfaction and disappointment, life and death. And so, regardless of which side of the coin I may be experiencing at any given moment, be it a good time or a rough time, Christmas especially reminds me that “God is with us.” What more can I ask for?
Jesus, Emmanuel, no matter the time of the year or whatever the circumstance, help me to remember that You are with me always. Amen.
Brother Leonard Wojtanowski, C.F.X.