Christmas: Emmanuel! … God is with us.

Author: Fr. Shital Hubert Rozario, C.S.C.

Nativity Stained Glass

Seven centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah spoke these words: “A young woman will give birth to a child whom she will name Emmanuel (which means, God is with us).”  The birth of Jesus was the fulfillment of that prophesy.

Each year we celebrate God’s great gift to the world, His coming to be with us. Christmas is a great time for the whole world—not only for Christians, but for all human society. It brings us great JOY, HOPE, LOVE, as we realize that God willingly gives us such a great gift, and without any condition, without need for us to do anything to deserve it. He freely gives the gift of His presence among us.

God knows that we are frail, weak, sinful, and that because of this we are unable to respond as we should to His goodness. We are slaves of sin, of sin in the world, and of our own personal sins. Because of sin, we suffer in our relations with one another and in our ability to cope with our responsibilities. In order to give us moral strength and guidance, He sent his only son to free us from sin. We are so fortunate to be so blessed by the grace of God. 

His coming to us is Sign of His GRACE, of His goodness and care for us. We humans are not able, from our own effort, to earn the strength to overcome our sinful attitudes, or to even do anything to deserve His help. But God gives us freely. He does not require that we earn His gifts. He does this because he loves us abundantly. He created each one of us; He knows each of us personally and loves and cares for each of us. And He came to save us from our weak and sinful attitudes. What a wonderful GRACE God gives us. Jesus Christ was born in this sinful world so that we might be blessed!

Christ was born for all people, for the rich and the poor, for sinners and saints. But so often a rich person becomes so engrossed in his personal power and in the many of the attractions of world that he does not give importance to the gifts God offers and can easily become enslaved by sin. But it is mainly the poor, the neglected, oppressed, who turn to God as their only hope. And it is those persons who are most neglected that find greatest hope and joy in their realization that He loves them. Jesus taught us to be poor in spirit, to be humble and meek, so that we are always open to His inspiration.

Read more reflections by Holy Cross brothers and priests

CHRISTMAS is a celebration of Joy, Hope and Love which unites all in gratitude to God, which unites us to one another since we are all loved by Him. It is His wish that we all share in love and kindness toward one another, that we do not create distinctions between man and woman, white or black, sinner or saint, rich or poor, educated or not, civilized or not—that we share and respect all  people and protect the human rights of all.

At Christmas time we offer gifts to each other as signs of our love and respect, of our sincere desire for the well-being of all and unity among us. When conflicts exist, this is a time to ask forgiveness and pledge to proceed with respect for one another. Christmas is a celebration of joy.

Mass in Bangladesh

JESUS is our savior and the redeemer of our inner heart. During Christmas Jesus wants to be born in our hearts. We must open our hearts and welcome Him, to invite Him to dispel all darkness of our minds and fill us with His light, to fill us with Grace.

Since God is the creator of us all, and it is His desire that we will join Him in heaven, all of us then must help one another to be faithful to Him and open to His inspiration. So we must share, must maintain respect and good relationship with one another. It is of primary importance that we dispel any conflicts that exist, that we ask forgiveness and forgive others. Let us rebuild any broken relationships, to forgive and proceed in a spirit of unity.

Jesus came to this earth to guide us along the path to Heaven. While living on earth He proclaimed that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is surely that for all Christians, and a spiritual leader and guide for all people.

So let the celebration of CHRISTMAS throughout the world bring unity to all people, without distinction of persons, dignity, race, religion, or nationality.  Let us all share the true spirit of CHRISTMAS, a spirit of love that leads to joy and peace.

All the members of Holy Cross wish you a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year 2016.

This reflection for Christmas was written by Fr. Shital Hubert Rozario, C.S.C., a member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province, which serves the people of Bangladesh. He currently lives at Moreau House, Rampura, Dhaka​, where he serves as Assistant Superior.