The Nativity of the Lord

It is the festival of our Savior’s birth, the day we celebrate that salvation has dawned upon the world. Christ is born, and we rejoice that he has come among us in the flesh, our God made visible in an infant child who would one day give up his life for us.

This is the heart of the Christmas mystery: that Christ is born for us today. This feast is so much more than a historic anniversary. Christmas celebrates the coming of God among us, born as a human person. Christ’s birth has an effect in our lives today. His birth transcends history and changes us. He brings us light and life.

Think of the symbols of the season. The crčche tells us the Gospel stories: first from Luke, which details the human birth in a lowly stable and the angels’ message to shepherds about the birth of a Savior; and later from Matthew, which describes the arrival of Magi who signify that God’s salvation extends to all. The wreath made of evergreens reminds us that God is one, without beginning or end, and even though we celebrate the human birth of Christ, he remains God, begotten of the Father before all ages. The tree stands as a symbol of life, its green branches unfading even in the winter cold, just as God’s life remains in us even though our human form should die. The candles we burn at this time of year recall the birth of him who is forever the light of the world, showing us the way to the eternal Father. The angels stand as heralds of the good news, an emblem for each of us on this solemn feast of our own duty to spread the message that Christ is born and saves us from our sins.

We rejoice this day in the birth of Christ! We renew our faith in his power to save as he joins earth and heaven through his coming in the flesh.