THE WORD BECAME FLESH
Throughout the world on this most Holy Day, people will be gathering together with their family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate the birth of Christ. Many may only be participating in such a way because it is such an integral part of the culture at large, but still many celebrate by doing more than just giving and receiving presents and spending time with the people whom they love. At least in Catholic circles, we see an influx of people coming to the Masses that are offered for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. There are two things that are worth acknowledging when it comes to the number of people attending Mass today: first, it is a wonderful expression of this concept of gathering together with those we love for something more important than ourselves. Second, when all of us come together for something once a year like Christmas, we begin to see just how different our paths toward Christ are. Different trajectories and different life choices have caused us to meander and wander in different circles, but we have all serendipitously met up at this specific place and time to worship God made man - this is the whole point of life itself.
When we apply this concept to the history of the Universe, our own world, and our individual lives, it becomes even more clear - regardless of the path we take to seek after Christ, we all will inevitably meet up at the same point to worship him perfectly. This is because all of existence and all of creation was a slow and steady build to the moment when God became Man, which we celebrate today. All of the wars, the brutality, the covenants, the salvific acts of God among His chosen people, the civilizations that arose, the cataclysms that wiped them out, the heroic actions of few, the cruel and evil actions of others, were all individual trajectories, individual stories, and individual paths that led up to this single moment in history: a baby is born in a manger to a young woman under the protection of her husband, with hardly a soul outside of this area aware of how monumental this moment was. We all know the importance and significance of the meaning of Christmas. We all know that today is the day when God became Man. However, we are so familiar with these simple facts that we can sometimes overlook how astronomically important such an event was. The significance, beauty, and love of this apex in the history of the world is perfectly encapsulated in the first chapter of the Gospel of John: In the beginning was the Word of God, who was not just with God, but was God Himself. All of creation came to be through this Word. There was a man, a human being we call John the Baptist, who testified to this Word, telling all who would listen that the Word was going to come into our world. This Word came into our world as one of us. The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. He was named Jesus. We called him the Christ.
The very Being who brought us into the created world and gave us flesh and bone could be accessed and embraced with flesh and bone of his own. The essence of all Divinity, all Power, and all Love could be swooped up in the arms of a young woman, swaddled and cradled like any other. All the angels in Heaven rejoiced over this moment, when God lowered Himself to our level so that we may be elevated to His level in Heaven. Now, we express the most divine reflection we can, through love for our family, friends, and neighbors, to come together and worship and rejoice. Christ is finally here. God is finally with us.