By Fr. Thiago, sx –
I have to confess, it´s a little bit strange to wake up in the morning on Christmas day and to see people going to work, children going to school, shops open and crowded streets. This is what happens in Thailand, where Christmas is not a holiday; therefore life follows its normal course. Nevertheless, I have to confess as well that, such experience helped me to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Incarnation.
Christmas is the celebration of God´s coming into our world as it is. The Incarnation is the mystery of a God who entered our history following its normal course. The “wondrous exchange” between God and humanity, which the liturgy celebrates at Christmas, took place in a simple and poor city called Bethlehem, more precisely, in a stable because, “there was no room for them in the inn.” The glory of God shone on a child wrapped in human clothes and laid in a manger. God has put his tent among us without drawing too much attention, without making too much noise.
This is the modality that God chose to visit us and this is the modality that he chooses to remain with us in order to fill our daily life with his divine presence. Consequently, faith in the Incarnation cannot not be confined to the past or reduced only to a dogmatic statement. On the contrary, the Church believes that the Incarnation is a permanent reality, continuing in Jesus Christ´s real presence in word and sacrament, in worship and witness. The message of the angel to the shepherds: “Today, for you, a Savior has been born,” continues echoing for each one of us in our today. In this way our daily life is no longer the same, but it is “pregnant” of God´s presence.
Here in Thailand, since the beginning of Advent season, we started visiting the families who live in the territory of the parish bringing the statue of the baby Jesus and announcing the Good News of a God who is with us, blessing our lives, enlightening our days, strengthening our steps and rekindling in us the meaning of our existence.
The celebration of Christmas in our parish, from the Vigil Mass to the other activities, was very beautiful and well prepared, but most of all, for me, it was a reminder of Christmas´ true essence.