“The people who walked in darkness has seen a great light … Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born for you; He is Christ the Lord” (Isaiah 9: 2; Luke 2: 11)
We do not usually call night and darkness holy. In the Scriptures night and darkness are symbols of spiritual weakness, sin, death and hell. But why do we call this night, the Christmas night holy? The Christmas night is a special night. It is the one night that can never be repeated in human history. It the night that all the covenants that were ever made and all the prophesies ever told were fulfilled by one single birth of an innocent baby born in a stable, laid in a manger, wrapped in saddling clothes and welcomed by the shepherds. It is called Holy Night because on this night death was overcome by life, divine anger was swallowed by divine mercy and eternal damnation was exchanged with eternal salvation. Tonight is Holy because the disobedience of the First Eve has been replaced by the obedience of the Second Eve, and the enemy of the ancient serpent is born to conquer the one who deceived our first parents. Tonight is a Holy Night because Light has conquered darkness once and for all. Therefore, we “who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of deep shadow a light has shone” (Isaiah 9: 2).
My dear friends, this Light is given to us to shine on the darkness of our lives: on the darkness of our sickness and diseases, the darkness of our depression, the darkness of our wounds, injuries and hurts; the darkness of our desolation and loneliness; the darkness of emotional and marital crises; the darkness of our financial and economic bankruptcy; on the darkness of our sins and guilt feelings. The Light of this night comes to address these issues in profound and inexplicable ways. Let us be confident and be prepared to open and let Him in for nothing is impossible with Him.
The Light of this night has come to shatter the darkness of our world: the darkness of a world inflicted with unprecedented natural disasters; the darkness of human knowledge empty of divine wisdom; the darkness of a world divided by hatred, conflicts and wars; the darkness of a world where man has turned his wickedness against himself; the darkness of a world divided by race, language, politics and religion; a world that has created more poor and homeless people than ever before. The Lord Jesus comes as the Light of the world to free our world, to liberate us from the shackles of every form of darkness that we may be able to see one another as a brother, set free by the same One Lord and Saviour born for us tonight.
This Light has come to shine on the darkness of His Church that has become less than what she was called to be: by her becoming more human than divine; by falling easily to the weakness and desires of the body than responding to the demands of the Spirit of God. This Church cries out to be liberated by this Light from men and women who have abused their privileged offices by abusing the innocent and the vulnerable ones, who looked up to them. The Church cries for forgiveness, for cleansing and for purification from this Great Light of this night.
But how will this liberation come? How can we be set free? When will our world be a free and equal space for all? When will the Church be truly a caring Mother and a wise Teacher that she is called to be?
The answers to these depend on how prepared we are to receive this Light into our lives, our world and our Church. It depends on our levels of sincerity and commitment. One example that we can all imitate comes from our Saviour Himself and His Blessed Mother – it is the lesson of obedience. Through obedience to the Word of God, our hearts, our world and our Church will certainly become the much needed “inn” for The Light of Bethlehem to born incarnated. The Christmas message can only make impact if we become the wombs, the hands and mouths to carry it to the ends of the earth. That way, The Word will be made flesh and dwell among us.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL