O Come Divine Messiah, the World in silence waits the day, when hope shall sing triumph and sadness flee away, Dear Saviour haste, come come to Earth, dispel the night and show your face and bid us hail the dawn of grace… This has been our mood during the waiting season of advent, the four week that the Christian faithful throughout the world have been using to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus.
Today we celebrate anew the joyous birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Immanuel, the promised of all ages, the one who’s coming had been anticipated by the peoples. It is he whom Simeon prophesied, acclaiming him as the light to the nations, the great beacon of hope, love and the sure sign of God’s mercy.
Is there any relevance in commemorating this birth every 25th December? For sure it is a significant event, not only for the Christian faithful but by extension to peoples of all faiths and religions. The birth of Our Lord is an occasion of hope and joy, more so in our present context, wherein peoples of different cadre and nations experience tumultuous moments. The Lord’s coming constantly offers hope in our war torn nations, drought stricken countries and regions, corruption ridden societies and entities, grief stricken families and homes and for all the destitute, desperate and hopeless situations.
How are the people, both rich and poor alike, to experience this promised hope and joy? The Lord’s nativity calls us to renewal – internal and external – wholesome transformation. Renewal of thought and practice. Transformation from our darkness to the light of Christ, inhering the love the love of God and humanity.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, may the ever renewing spirit of the Lord guide our ways. May he journey with us throughout this festive season and grant us joyful New Year 2019. May we be ever disposed to be instruments of hope for those experiencing wars, drought, corruption, grief and despair!
Beata Vergine Maria, ora pro nobis!
Sese Okoth, OP