“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours” (Luke 2:14).
Every year we celebrate and re-live the mystery of the Incarnation. At the birth of Jesus, a multitude of heavenly host praised God and prayed for peace on humankind. It is the mystery of God who became like us so as to save us from our misery. Saint Paul says: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal 4:4-5). We celebrate the mystery of God’s love for us, the God who came to dwell among us. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14). This is the beginning of our salvation with its culmination in the Paschal mysteries of our Saviour Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate God’s unconditional love for us. This divine love is also an invitation for us to extend the same love to others. It is the feast of love initiated by God who is love in himself. We contemplate the humble state of our Saviour who out of love for us chose to be born in a manger at Bethlehem. We reflect in a special way on her poor Parents, Mary and Joseph. This year the person of Saint Joseph is highlighted because with the proclamation of the year dedicated to this Foster Father of Jesus, beginning from December 8, 2020 until December 8, 2021, the Church meditates profoundly on the role he played in the life of Jesus and in the history of our salvation.
The year 2020 is remarkable in the history of the world. The outbreak of COVID-19, the ravages it has caused in the world, and the lessons we have all learned from the pandemic should move us to reflect on the purpose of human life and its frailty. The event of the global disease which we are still experiencing this year makes us reflect on these words of the psalmist: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Ps 24:1). The God who loves us so much knows best why he has allowed the ill of this year to befall his creation. The season of Christmas this year makes us to turn our gaze on the Creator and praise him for being the Master of all he created and thank him for his unfathomable love for us. We thank God for all of us who have survived the pandemic and we pray for those who have lost their lives. In our celebration of Christmas this year, may we remember those who are badly affected by the aftermath of the pandemic, especially those who are bereaved of their loved ones, and those who have lost their means of livelihood. May the celebration of the birth of our Saviour bring us peace and joy!
We wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2021.
Rev. Prof. Albert Ngengi Mundele