Christmas Reflection : Celebration of Selfless Lovers Vol 4, No. 24

Christmas comes only once a year but its meaning must remain in our hearts and minds all the year round. God wants us in heaven forever. He sent his Son on earth to bring us there.
Every Christmas has its own usual general expectations. Also, there are individual or particular expectations and conditions. Experience has shown that some people seem to have celebrated so many years of Christmas forgetting or rather neglecting the purpose of the celebration. This partial or even total neglect of the purpose of Christmas is the import of this reflection.
In Christmas, we celebrate the selfless love of God in human history. After the fall of our first parents (Adam and Eve) through the sin of disobedience, God sent his only beloved Son Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary to come and redeem or save us.
The initiative to create us came from God and the initiative to save us equally came from him. God did not create us because he is in need of us, rather he created us out of love. In other words, Christmas period should be a period to reflect on the virtues of the selfless lovers as we may see them in the incarnation account in the scripture. Some of such selfless lovers include : Angel Gabriel, Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, St. Joseph, The Maggi (the three wise men), Elizabeth, the shepherds, etc.
Common virtues among the above named selfless lovers is that of truth. They were true to God, to themselves and, of course, to their neighbors. Our Blessed Mother Mary for instance, was very open to the Angel Gabriel by questioning the possibility of pregnancy in the absence of a male participation. Elizabeth on her own part could not hide the feelings of the joyous John in her womb when Mary visited her with a conceived Saviour. In this case, we should reflect on the virtue of truth as found in the selfless lovers during this Christmas.
Another virtue is that of humility. Selfless lovers are usually humble. To be humble here agrees with the stated virtue of truth. This is predicated on the fact that in the absence of humility, truth becomes very difficult to utter in order to retain one’s pride. Meanwhile, one who is humble knows where he or she belongs at any time and place. This virtue of humility empowered the selfless lovers not to be obstacle in the free flow of transcendental or mysterious message of incarnation. Of course, the highest degree of humility among them all is that God became a human being for our sake. That is the mystery of incarnation.
The virtue of faithfulness of the selfless lovers associated with the Christmas story could be seen in their total obedience to the will and message of God. Mary for instance, would say “fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum” meaning “be it done to me according to your will”. Virtues are interconnected. The two virtues of truth and humility made the condition favorable for the selfless lovers to manifest yet another virtue, the virtue of obedience. Mary in humility opened up her human weakness of getting pregnant as a virgin and the Angel Gabriel showed her the power of the Holy Spirit and she obeyed. In relation with God, logic does not count, argument does not help and rationalization does disappoint. The experience of Zachariah, who got blind as a result of doubt, is a perfect example. Contrary to the above, obedience is the safest option for the promise land. Just like Moses could not reach the land God promised the Israelites as a result of disobedience.
Further more, let us consider the virtue of patience as has been found in Mary, Joseph and the Magi (Three Wise Men). In fact, I strongly believe that for every selfless lover, there is this internal conviction and inclination that God is always faithful. Therefore, in God’s ever faithfulness is the patience of the selfless lovers. The Magi for instance, did not lose hope in search of the infant Jesus because they believed that God can never deceive his own self. That is the spirit of selfless lovers. We continue next time!

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