Christmas Message: The Birth of a New Humanity
During the advent season, Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate the nativity of Jesus Christ, Who offers the project of the new birth of humanity. So, human being is the focus of Jesus’ mission and ultimately is the focus of the Church mission. According to which man becomes human, not a “predatory beast”. In fact, the status of human in Christ has been elevated to a “complete-perfect humanity” and the term used in Chaldean-Syriac language is MITHBARNASHUTHA, which means humanization.
The birth of Jesus Christ represents the birth of a new human being as a son of God: in His lifestyle, works and words. So that, every human being finds in Jesus a perfect example of mankind to follow and achieve the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1/26). Jesus Christ lived, loved, served, and worked as a man “but has been put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin” (Hebrews 4/15).
In spite of the evil that lies in “man”, the Christian person has enough graces to achieve the project of internal renewal (the new birth), by joining the mystery of the Passover of Jesus Christ, in and with which he understands the actual “but rich” meaning of suffering, death and resurrection. Therefore, as Christians we should realize that in practicing every sacrament of the Church, such as the baptism and the Eucharist, etc. we are receiving the great grace of “unity” with Jesus Christ and incorporating to Him: “since every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” (Galatians 3/27). This call requires daily commitment, effort, courage and hard work. Even though, the air we breathe is the joy of the Gospel, and that our strength and consolation are in the Holy Spirit who guides and accompanies us.
This call is also addressed to every man of good will, who opens his heart sincerely to the grace of God to work in him.
Because of Jesus Christ we become the children of God, especially when He taught us to pray, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven …”. It is from this faith that our quest and our prayers begin to achieve the beatitudes of Christ in us and around us, so His kingdom shall be realized on earth as it is in heaven, the kingdom of brotherhood, love and peace among all mankind.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth; Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted; Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled; Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy; Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God; Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God; Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven“(Matthew 5/ 3-10).
Accordingly, we are in Christmas when Jesus Christ is born in our hearts, and when we apply the service of peace and love as stated in the following Christmas Carol in Arabic:
When we give a cup of water for the thirst, we are in Christmas
When we clothe the naked, out of love, we are in Christmas
When we wipe out tears from others’ eyes, we are in Christmas
When we fill hearts with hope, we are in Christmas
When I kiss my friend without cheating, I am in Christmas
When I get rid of the spirit of revenge, I am in Christmas
When my heart is dominated by staleness, I am in Christmas
When myself is melted into the entity of God, I am in Christmas.
*On the Christmas Eve, hatred erased, on the Christmas Eve the earth blooms,
On the Christmas Eve war will stop, on the Christmas Eve love sprouts.
Thus, through the testimony of our faith, prayers love and contribution to the revival of our country, our society and our world, we will find ourselves singing with the angels on the Christmas Eve: “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will” (Luke 2/14). This way, God will be revealed through us to the world.
Below are Some Questions for Reflection and Self-Revision:
What does it mean to be Christian? Is your faith essential in your life, and has the priority in your actions and decisions? or what else may identify you as a Christian from others?
Do you pray? Do you go to the Church and feel you are a member of its’ community? In which and within which you live your faith, and realize strength and unity with others? Otherwise, what is the meaning of your “Christianity” without this testimony of faith, prayer, and service?
Your faith and your prayers prepare you for “blessings”; help you to see people, events and things with the eye of God; and allow you to receive the Holy Spirit and feel that God is “closer to you than vein”.
Your faith opens the way for you to live the Word of God on daily basis, and become the Son of God rather than a servant of the devil!
I hope Christmas will be an opportunity to deepen your faith and demonstrate the service of love and peace, as stated by Pope Francis in his homily at St. Marta’s Church, 2018/12/06. “We must prepare for Christmas to build peace in our souls, family and the world”, because in peace there is progress and prosperity. Whoever divides people, and creates chaos based on religion, ethnicity or gender should not be included among believers in God and initially has no religion.
Merry Christmas for all and peace be in Iraq and the world