– by Heri, sx –
“How can I contact you?” is a common question among people who meet each other for the first time. Such a question indicates that people still want to keep in touch with someone they have met. They want to sustain their relationship, whether with their families, friends or the new people they have just met. Fortunately, in our times, it is not so difficult to maintain our relationship even with someone far away from us. It is because the modern technology helps us foster the relationship we have started. Through Facebook, we can contact our relatives anywhere in the world. By using Skype, we can talk a whole day with our friends even in other countries without spending any extra penny. And, with our account on Yahoo Messenger, we can see face to face someone we want to talk to. “How can I contact you?” could bring us to a deeper relationship with families and friends. putting in other words, it can lead us to a quality relationship with anyone we desire, even new acquaintances.
In the moment of God’s incarnation, which is on Christmas day, when God becomes like us, we are encoutered by God who probably also asks us, “how can I contact you?” On Christmas day we celebrate the wonderful moment of the Word, taking human flesh to enable us to be closer to God. It can bring us to a deeper and intimate relationship with Him. By the action of sending His only Son to the world, God “contacts” us in a special way. God surely does not use modern communication as we do. God does not use Skype. God does not use Yahoo Messenger. Even, God does not use Facebook. But He does communicate and does make Himself closer to us through the person of His only beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
God’s question to us, on Christmas day, “how can I contact you?” manifests God’s desire to communicate with humankind in the person of Jesus. God makes a new communication with humankind in the person of Jesus. The incarnation of the Son of God in becoming like us signifies a new possibility of an open communication between God and humankind. The wonderful communication of God with His creatures is marked by the visitation of the angel Gabriel to Mary. When the angel tells Mary that she will concieve a baby named Jesus, God starts a new begining of His desire to have a deeper and intimate relationship with His creatures than ever before through the person of His Son. On the day of the annunciation, God wants to elevate the meaning of communication between He and His creatures. Thus, it is fullfilled by God’s action in sending His only Son to the world on the day of Christmas. The birth of Jesus qualifies God’s relationship with His creatures. It seems that God is telling Mary that the baby will manifest His love for humanity and will bring a new era of His relationship with all humanity as it is written in the Gospel, “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end… the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God”(Luk 2:32-33,35). The coming of the Son of God as the new way of divine communication signifies the action of God who wants to be closer with us and enables us to have access to the way of behaving and becoming like Him.
The divine communication between God and His creatures is grounded upon the perfect love of God that wants the salvaion of the world, “Because of His love, God had already decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us His sons” (Eph 1:4-5) and His people, when we heard the true message, the Good News that brought us to salvation. “We believe in Christ, and God puts His stamp of ownership on us by giving us the Holy Spirit He had promised” (Eph 1:13). The moment of God sending His Beloved Son shows us the loving, mutual and intimate relationship between God and His creatures,especially human beings. It is about “how can I contact you?” in a divine-loving manner.
The incarnation of the Son is the beginning of transformation for all humanity. On Christmas day, God shows us a wonderful grace, “the child to be born will be called holy; He will be called Son of God”. The event of the Son of God coming into the world in our likeness is nothing else than the loving presence of God who reveals and communicates Himself to humankind. In Jesus, God has revealed a perfect love of God to humankind, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16).
Therefore, in the Christmas event, humankind is given a beautiful and wonderful opportunity to know God closely and intimately. We realize that in the Old Testament, God has communicated Himself through the prophets. But now, in a special way, God renews his communication to humankind through His Beloved Son,“the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world” (Jn 10:36). God wants to qualify His communication with human beings by taking human form, by becoming a baby in order to be known by simple people like us.
On Chritmas day, human beings are brought to the experience of God who reveals Himself in a wonderful but a simple way. Christmas celebration is no longer about having good food, spending money for ellegant clothes, or drinking the best wines. But, it is an occasion for all of us to remember that God allows His only Son to become like us, so that we might become like Him. Thus, Christmas becomes our wonderful experience of God who reveals and communicates Himself in His only Son by taking our humanity. In celebrating Christmas, we are entered into the moment of grace when the Son of God takes human likeness. On Christmas day, God begins to communicate Himself directly and intimately to us His creation in the person of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. If God asks us, “How can I contact you?”, the answer could be in our Christmas celebration. Christmas opens up God’s new and intimate communication to His creation through His Son. It is a special way of how God communicates Himself to the whole creation and makes us possible to be like Him for His Son has become like us. While becoming like us, he gives the example of how to be like God’s children. “How can I contact you?”, now, is an invitation and opportunity for all of us as His new children by the grace of baptism to follow the path of God Himself who brings to a new, creative, loving, mutual, and intimate communication and relationship with human beings.
Nowadays we realize that we are surrounded by modern technology and social networks which, on the one hand, help us to have a deep, loving, mutual, and intimate communication with anyone we wish, but on the other hand, they can be used easily to destroy other people. Therefore in this moment, which is the day when God asks us “How can I contact you?”, the moment in which the Son of God becomes like us by taking our likeness, when He renews and qualifies His communication with His creatures so that we have access to be like Him, we, as children of God, are invited to look back at our way of communicating with others. By knowing the risks of the use of modern technology and social networks with which we are acustomed, we take the commitment to give them quality and use them for building up a healthy relationships with others and for spreading the kingdom and the love of God as the Decree on the Means of Social Communication, Inter Merifica, has stated: the Church realizes the benefits and the risks of modern communication. It can enlarge and enrich the human relationship and knowledge. It can also be used to spread the Kingdom of God and the love of God to humanity. But at the same time, it can harm the designs of the Creator and can damage someone who uses it if it is not properly used . For that reason, in this moment we ask God, who creatively makes a wonderful communication on the day of the birth of His Son, Jesus, for the grace of being able to improve our way of communicating with others in a new, creative, loving, mutual, and intimate manner, which is the way by which God has already started when He communicates Himself to humandkind on Christmas day.