By BISHOP LUIS RAFAEL ZARAMA, Commentary | Published December 23, 2014 | En Español
Announcing the birth of the Son of God, the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among people of good will.”
Today we are bombarded by commercials inviting us to prepare for the celebration of the “holidays” and manipulating our will through ads that tell us we need to spend in order to celebrate. This seems to be what makes us happy.
The power of society bends our will easily. We make frequent trips to the shopping malls or surf the Internet searching for what we think will give us joy. Cities are lit up and shopping malls are decorated to attract customers. Everything is set … and we are ready to celebrate “something” that we can’t even say out loud because it is offensive or may sound offensive to some. Our will reverences the world’s invitation and turns a cold shoulder to the One, the true cause for celebration.
How contradictory! Today everything is so beautiful, bright, and decorated, but there is no space for Him whom we celebrate. In reality, when the Child Jesus was born, it was in a stable, dark and cold, but then everything was transformed. With the few rags Mary and Joseph used and their great love, that cave became a temple where the Divine Child was born, and where the angels sang and invited all people of good will to receive that Gift, the Child who is Peace and Love.
The world has an emptiness of Peace and Love; an emptiness of that crying child looking for an open heart that, with a few rags and much love, can become the manger where He may lay and rest; a heart that can be transformed and become part of the choir of angels, singing with joy that the glory of Heaven has been born. God is searching for hearts of good will that can be lit up and decorated with His Gift of Peace and Love.
Only by following the example of the shepherds—who listened to the angels, found the Child Jesus, bowed in front of him and gave Him their homage—will we be able to celebrate Christmas, with a willingness that surrenders before the Word made Flesh. Like the shepherds, we should bow with joy and pay homage, celebrating Christmas with our families, parishes, and cities so that they become bright, joyful and filled with His Gift of Peace and Love.
As St. Anselm said, “Let me seek you in desiring you and desire you in seeking you, find you in loving you and love you in finding you.”
Merry Christmas! May the Infant Jesus bless you all in the New Year!