Advent and Christmas time are always busy, busy, busy. They come and go so quickly, and when the New Year arrives, we always feel like we should have lived them better; we should have given more time and effort to the simple things, the spiritual things, the real meaning of Christmas itself.
When Jesus came to earth to be our Savior, he also came to establish an everlasting Kingdom, a Kingdom that would begin its existence here on earth, through the Church, but that would never be subject to merely earthly powers. And yet, throughout the history of this Church, earthly powers, reluctant to acknowledge obedience to any authority but their own, have consistently tried to absorb Christ’s Kingdom, to make God and the Church obey them, so they won’t have to obey God. From his manger in Bethlehem, the newborn and everlasting King of the universe showed us how he would deal with those powers that try to resist his Kingship. He showed that he would always invite people to enter his Kingdom out of faith and love, not out of force—after all, how could a little baby force anyone to do anything?
We too are invited by the angel of God, through the message of the Gospel, to set out in our hearts to see the child lying in the manger. God’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby—defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will—we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. —Pope Benedict XVI Midnight Mass Homily 24 December 2006
Let Baby Jesus find in your heart a manger where he can be born and reign this Christmas. This is the only thing he wants from you: that you let yourself be loved by him and that you love him with all your mind, heart and being. Let him enter into your heart this Christmas, and like him, dare to give the best of yourself to others, without limits or conditions.