Once again we are approaching another Christmas. We are journeying through the four weeks of Advent in prayerful preparation for the great event of the coming of the Lord into the world. Yes, God became man in Jesus Christ to come into the world to make man divine. The incarnate God has poured His Spirit into our hearts to give us the power to live the divine life. In the Old Testament we see God pouring His Spirit ‘upon’ His chosen ones. God poured His Spirit upon Moses, Gideon, Samson, David, Daniel etc. But in the New Testament, the Father has poured His spirit into our hearts through the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who was sent to redeem the whole world. “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). “To those who accepted Him, He gave power to become children of God” (Jn. 1.12).

The Birth of Jesus – Master of AB Monogram (WGoA)

What is Christmas for me? The birth of Jesus into my heart. Many Saints used to say that they celebrate Christmas everyday because they receive Jesus everyday. Whenever I live the Word of God, whenever I am kind and gentle, forgiving and humble, whenever I live in purity and sincerity of heart, whenever I am faithful to the Lord in my thoughts, words and deeds, Jesus is being born into my heart. Let us have these sentiments as we kiss the Holy Infant in the Crib. He does not want to be born in a manger of Bethlehem, or in the decorated Crib in our homes, but He wants to be born in the manger of my heart. Jesus Christ, the Word became flesh is born of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. The same Jesus should be born in my heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and through my cooperation.

Let us prepare the best place for Him in our heart by shedding off all our sinful tendencies; our back biting, our anger and resentment, our selfishness and self-righteousness, lust of our eyes, lust of our flesh and pride of life etc. We clean the house and decorate it, prepare a beautiful crib with illumination, make the Christmas tree in the most attractive way, hang shining star………everything is good and fitting for the Season; but seldom do we realise that the Incarnate Lord longs for a place in my heart. “Prepare the way for the Lord”, was the cry of John the Baptist in the wilderness. The Church leads us through the Season of Advent to help us to do this. On the day of Christmas, let us make our Saviour happy by letting Him be born in our hearts. And like the Saints, let us celebrate Christmas every day as we allow Jesus to be incarnated in our hearts. He is the source of all joy and peace. At the birth of Jesus the angel appeared to the shepherds and said “I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people” (Lk.2.10). When Jesus is in our hearts, we have this joy and let us give this Joy to the world every day. Let us make the lyrics of the Christmas Carol hymn quite meaningful:

‘Joy to the world, the Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
Heaven and earth rejoice….’

Mary Pereira

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