The Message of Christmas


Often this time of year, we hear the question posed: what ultimately is the meaning of Christmas?

In the final analysis, Christmas means that in man’s millennia-long search for God, it is God who has taken the longer part of the journey. On our own we could never reach Him. So He came down to us. Christmas means that God has come. He has entered our world in a definitive way. He has walked among us, and we are not alone.

The whole of human history, world literature, philosophy and religious speculation, taken together represent man’s search for God. It is our attempt to reach up to Him. In our own lives we know that we too, in our own way, try to reach up to God — to figure things out, to discover the meaning of it all. We know too that we cannot do it on our own. We are not strong enough or clever enough to reach up to God all by ourselves.

So, on Christmas morning we are happy to report that God instead has come down to us. He has indeed taken the longer part of the journey. As Pope Benedict XVI never tired of repeating, we have no need to fear Him for He has made Himself small.

Christmas does not promise the end to suffering or immediate world peace — sorry to say. But it does mean — the one thing Christmas offers that can never be taken away — is that God has entered our world. He has come down from Heaven. God has become man for you. Merry Christmas.