By Maria G. Covarrubias
“While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son” (Luke 2:6). The incarnation of the Son of God is central to Christmas. Incarnation means the truth that the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, became man - one of us.
The incarnation is the eternal manifestation of God’s love, which is brought to fruition in Jesus’ death on the Cross. The New Testament reveals Jesus’ incarnate story.
We live in a modern world that bombards us with mixed messages. Many are confusing, they lack meaning or are materialistic. The time of Christmas fills us with messages that have meaning, full of mystery and magnificent memories. The main message of Christmas proclaims the center of our faith: Emmanuel, God with us!
Because of the message of the incarnation- God becoming one of us- we face messages that comfort and challenge us: indestructible hope, profound joy and peace, generous compassion, gratitude, patience, and service.
All these messages say a lot about who our God is, who we are, from whom we come and where we are going. We are chosen for discipleship. By our baptism, we are called to live as Jesus’ disciples. As disciples, we must be intentional in nurturing our faith and deepening our relationship with Jesus. There are so many opportunities! We can strengthen our faith by praying, receiving and giving forgiveness, taking part in the Eucharist at Mass, learning about our faith, being generous, treating others fairly and with justice, being good stewards of everything we have received, doing a ministry in our parish, living and sharing our faith traditions in our families and our parish community.
As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season, let the messages of faith, hope and charity touch our hearts and transform them. God is with us always, in our moments of crisis, despair, sacrifice, joy, abundance and need. God intervened by breaking into our human life – he is calling us to an abundant and meaningful life.
What is your response to God? What more can you do this coming year to deepen your relationship with Jesus -Emmanuel - God with us?
Maria G. Covarrubias is the Director of the Office of Catechetical Ministry for the Diocese of San Bernardino.