The following thoughts for Christmas were written on the Feast of Christ the King this year. Christ the King and Christmas, an unusual combination! But perhaps it can help us take a new look at the Mystery of the Incarnation. Would the synopsis of Christ the King and Christmas mean that we look from a glorious exit to a humble beginning? Or is the ruler of the world compassionately deciding to be among humans, to be like them in everything, and to share their lives forever? It seems it would be good to let our Christ King speak for himself.
"Dear sisters and brothers! It touches my heart that you invite me today to bring you close to the reasons for my incarnation. Everything took its beginning in my heart, the heart of the Trinity. Consciously and with great care, I called the universe with all its creatures into life. Under my gaze I saw it develop, saw joyous flourishing and silent offense, discovered grateful reception but also ruthless exploitation and wanton destruction. Everything mystified and awed Adam and Eve, to whom I had given free will and entrusted my wonderful earth garden.
It gripped me with pain, and at the same time, deep compassion, when I recognized the contradictory motivations in the inner world of my image, which were acted out in everyday life. Yes, I wanted free will to empower my creature to true love. Now I decided to support the good in human beings and to face the burgeoning Evil. From a safe distance, this was not possible, but only when I became one of them, sharing their daily life with its ups and downs, in good times and in bad, in sorrow and in joy. It meant the descent from my throne as King and the concrete embracing of my humanity.
It did not fit to appear directly as a strong man. The young girl, Mary, became a gateway for me. She was an ordinary girl, unknown beyond her village. First, I was in premarital distress; then I was born homeless in a stable; later I had to flee from persecution with my parents and afterwards I lived for many years in simple circumstances in a foreign land. I assisted my father, Joseph, in taking care of the daily needs of our family through the work of my hands. I grew up among people who also experienced exile, who were foreigners in a foreign land.
The path of my life seemed to change as I became an adult and entered into public life. I stood in the line of sinners awaiting the penitential baptism of John, but my father wanted to show his love for me to all who were there. For a moment, the sky broke and I was blessed and called a beloved of God. After that, I became a sought-after rabbi, a gentle miracle worker and healer, and one who gave merciful forgiveness. Clearly, I confronted the powerful as well as the lowly, calling all to repentance. I advocated passionately for the heart concerns of God.
Throughout my life, I affirmed the call of every person to love. My disciples and followers hoped I would gain stature and power, but I was always conscious of my call and remained faithful to my mission.
Many left me, even my closest companions. Others set traps for me and some, who did not want to lose their power, tried to kill me. They dragged me to court and managed to provoke my crucifixion by clever influence and manipulation. I stood true to myself as the humble Christ King. Abandoned, shattered and mocked for my royal dignity, I was put on the Cross. There I found myself, stretched out as a sign between heaven and earth. I spread my hands, as I did in the crib, to embrace all people in love and for all time.
Today, in many places, the doors of mercy seem closed, but I have pushed them open forever through my incarnation. Today, many doors are politically shut all over the world to deny people’s unique dignity, but I do not cease to bestow dignity to every person every day.
Therefore, I urge you all to concretely realize my incarnation. Come down from your thrones! Become human among humans; treat the stranger as your neighbor; help each other; be present for one another. Bring all those who live on the margins into the middle - the penniless children and youthful pregnant women, the simple artisans and the foreign refugees, the outsiders of your society and the people you may overlook right in your communities.
Let the God on high become your Emmanuel. Care for the neglected garden of Eden that was entrusted to you. Bring your hidden talents and weaknesses to light, so that you can become human beings who reflect the deepest image of God for your fulfillment and in service to others and to all of creation. Accomplish my mission of the Incarnation, and you will fill my heart with deep joy! "
Let us take some moments of silence by listening to these words of our Christ King, Emmanuel. He shows us the interior of the incredible Mystery of his life and our concrete participation in his mission of love.
We wish you a joyful Christmas with our near God and a new year of courageous Incarnation!