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One Advent, I posted on FB: ‘Christmas is near; Jesus is coming!’ Some friends clicked “like” to my post. But then a friend made a comment that almost destroyed the mood: ‘Why? Hasn’t he already come? What else are we waiting for?’ I wanted to strangle this kill-joy fb friend, then I realized he had a point, too.

As we celebrate this great and joyous feast, images of Jesus the baby or the infant of Bethlehem are what we see before us. But are we aware that while we remember his birthday, we are actually celebrating something else? We rejoice not that God’s Word is now a baby; we are glad that God, in Jesus, is now our Companion, our Brother! God has answered our hearts’ desires with the greatest possible love – His own Son!

While the sight of a baby can warm our hearts, a fragile baby cannot do anything to alleviate our pains and sufferings. And this Christmas, just look around you: people walking aimlessly in the streets; poor scattered all around; sick waiting to recover; countless persons in need of hope and courage to face life again. Or take a peek into your heart. Don’t you also have questions, desires, needs that call for a serious response? You need more than a baby to solve the problems of the world, and the troubles of our own heart.

God sent his Son into the world. He does not intend him to be received as a cute little infant. The Father wants his Son to be recognized for who he really is – the Way, the Truth and the Life.

God is giving us his Son so that we may encounter the deepest offer of love from a Father’s heart. In that first Christmas, some people received this offer with love and some others ignored and refused it. Memory of Jesus’s birth today is an occasion for us to take up one response or the other – to accept Jesus or to refuse him entry into our lives.

Things don’t have to be perfect now. We may be facing troubles of many kinds. But Jesus wants to live with us, walk with us, work with us, hope with us, smile with us, cry with us.

The simple of heart understand this well. That is why though they are poor and sick, unemployed and suffering, confused and troubled, they can smile and share love this season. They know that things don’t have to be perfect today. With Jesus, together we will work towards that perfection, little by little, and day by day. Christmas is just the beginning of our partnership with the Lord.

Let us welcome the Lord with open hearts! Let us receive him with joy! Let us allow him to journey with us again! Welcome the Adult Christ of Christmas, the greatest gift from the Father to us!