“This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn. 17,3)
God appeared to Moses in a burning bush on mount Horeb, the mountain of God, and told him: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”. When Moses asked for the name, God said to him, “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex.3,1-14). “I am the Lord your God” (Is.43,3).Though God told Moses: “This is my name for ever” (v.15), when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman”, revealing through Angel Gabriel, that this Son, who “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation”(Col.1,15), ‘will be called Jesus,
Moses and the burning bush – D.Bouts (WGoA)
for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt.1,21). Through his incarnation, God entered into humanity to reveal God to us, to make us like God, to make us God’s children. (cfr.Catechism of the Catholic Church- para 460)
In the Old Testament, Israelites knew the God of all creation as an awesome God, mighty and transcendent; slow to anger and full of compassion. But the form of God was not revealed to them (Deut. 4,15). Since Jesus came as the image of the invisible God, it became possible for humanity to see the face of God. Jesus has said: “The Father and I are one”; “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father; I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (Jn.10,30; 14.9,f11). As we pray in the Liturgy of the Hours, ‘it was the Father’s will that men should see him in the face of his beloved Son’ (Intercession- Fridays of Advent).
Jesus told the Jews: “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins; Amen, Amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM” (Jn. 8.24; 58 – The New American Bible). Thus He stated that He existed before He was born in ‘flesh and lived among us’ (Jn. 1,14). St. John, the Apostle, whom Jesus loved and who was reclining at Jesus’ side at the Last Supper, brought out the ‘bold’ sayings of Jesus, which again reveals He is ‘who I AM’:
“I am the bread of life” (6,35)
“I am the light of the world” (8,12)
“I am the gate” (10,9)
“I am the good shepherd” (10,11)
“I am the resurrection and the life (11,25)
“I am the way, the truth and the life” (14,6)
“I am the true vine” (15,1)
In the discourse of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well, when she said to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming, (who is called Christ) the one called the Anointed (New American Bible), Jesus revealed his self- designation: “I am he” (it could also be translated “I am”- NAB footnote) (Jn. 4.26).
The Season of Christmas is a joy and celebration for all, because it is the remembrance of this great event of God the Father, sending His son to reveal Himself to us. “In Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col.1.15; 2.9). Through His life and teachings, especially through the Parables, Jesus revealed Father’s unconditional love, compassion and mercy. Father sent us the Son to ‘rescue us from the power of darkness and transfer us into the kingdom of his beloved Son’ (Col.1.13) He came to give ‘abundant life to all’ (Jn. 10.10), and he invites all, “Let anyone
The Nativity – Jacob de Backer (WGoA)
who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink” (Jn. 7.37, 38); “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, I will give you rest” (Mt.11.28). He came to show us the way to the Father. In Him we have redemption, for He came to ‘purchase for God with His blood those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation” (Rev.5.9-NAB). He alone is the God who died for the whole humanity.
Yes, there is every reason for all to rejoice at the birth of Jesus, for He came not only for Christians, but for all who thirst for God, who seek the face of God, who long to know and experience God. He came as the answer to all our questions; as the solution for all our problems. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn. 3.16). All of us are created, not to die, but to have eternal life. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit in this Year of Faith, to grow deep in the conviction of the truth that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved” (Acts. 4.12). He invites ALL to drink from Him, the Source of the fountain of Living Water.
There is a lot of pomp and celebration during Christmas time – decorations, stars and Christmas trees, Carol singing, giving out gifts, family get-together, sumptuous meals etc. But do we take to heart the real significance of this great event in the history of the world – the God I AM, incarnated to become God Immanuel? Are the joys and celebrations the expressions of proclamation of this truth? Let the Holy Spirit of God help us, especially in this Year of Faith, to really understand the reason for all our celebrations in this Season.
Prayer: Abba, our loving Father, we rejoice in this Season of Advent as we look forward to the feast of our salvation. In the midst of our outward pomp and festivities, may we not miss focussing on the Messiah whom you sent for us, for He is the truth, the way and the life; and in believing in Him we will have our eternal life.