VOICE FROM THE SOUTH
By EMETERIO BARCELON, SJ
Rejoice because a Son is born to us to save us from our sins both from original sin, and from our own personal sins.
This is the great mystery that God chose to be with us as a human being, taking the form of man from Mary His mother in the flesh. In His mercy, He chose to redeem us by taking on a human nature while still being God, Creator of all things. From all eternity He chose Mary from all the women of the world to be His mother on earth.
Joseph was reassured by an angel that the baby in the virgin womb was the result of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. So he took her into his home. When the decree of Caesar came, they walked from Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea because he was of the tribe of David. When they were there, they could not find a place to stay. So the King of Glory was born in a shelter for cows, probably a cave. And when the Child was born, Mary His mother wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes which prefigured his being wrapped in the linen for His burial.
It took many miracles to convince the people that He was the Messiah promised to Abraham who would save us from our sins and weaknesses. These miracles include the restoring of a withered hand on a Sabbath, the curing of blind men, the raising of the dead to life, the feeding of thousands, and His own rising from the dead. Still many did not believe in Him. But for those who believed He made them His sons and daughters. He lived with us as a human being for 33 years, performing mighty miracles and predicting that he would be killed but would rise again from the dead.
He did not only stay with us 33 years. But His Kingdom is to last forever as the son of David. So He still stays with us in a different form, that of Bread and Wine turned into His Body and Blood. He is still present with us till the end of time in the bread and wine that become His Body and Blood at every Mass that priests all over the world say. He promised to be with us for all time. This is the miracle of the Eucharist. He is present with us for all time not in the form of an itinerant Jewish preacher but in the form of Bread and Wine for all time.
His being born in the town of David, called Bethlehem, prefigured His being with us even today in the Blessed Eucharist in the form of Bread and Wine. Bethlehem means “house of bread.” His being placed in a manger, where cows eat, also prefigured His being our food. He is present with us for all time as predicted that His kingdom, that of His ancestor David, will last forever. The miracle of God taking the form of man is the same miracle that God takes in being with us in the form of Bread and Wine. He remains with us for all time.
We rejoice and thank the Lord for coming as a baby who taught and helped us for 33 years. We also rejoice that He is with us at every Mass said all over the world. Jesus Emmanuel, God with us for all time.