Pope Benedict XVI sums up the message of Christmas Eve for us. The birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve is the interpretation of our own origin! He, the one, through whom all light and life entered the cosmos… He is the source of all created beings. Whether we know it or not, we are his children! The children of the light.
This is a beautiful night. A night when our Saviour was born. This eve at the Crib, is about our roots. The joy of Christmas is our deepest root. The lights of this beautiful night convey for us an interesting and important thought.
A human being who exercises free will and has free choice, is able to move around. The baby Jesus, our Saviour King, will grow end embark on a journey where he takes us with him. This life journey is a reminder that the human person is not rooted to one place. And very often a human being - because of our inquisitive and restless mind, our power of enquiry and actions - that human being feels a little lost; sometimes alienated. Because we got far from our roots, we can feel isolated.
As a human family, the searching beyond ourselves, our journeys often cost very dearly. Humankind, smaller communities, and as individuals, we feel this ‘loss’ when we start to move away from our Roots, from our sources.
In the light of this most beautiful night, we can be honest with ourselves. Sometimes we feel that we are away from our source and we don’t know where we are going! The crib with the Christmas tree are the most powerful symbols! The Christmas tree, has a biblical origin. The Bible tells us: the human person is compared to the tree of the field. This night reveals the secret: we belong to the Tree of Life through which Jesus brought about our redemption.
The crib and the Christmas tree remind us: just as the tree always knows its roots - it is rooted to its source - so also are Christians essentially rooted to their source. To this very Crib. And to this very Tree of Life and Light. This night reveals that we are rooted to the source of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. To this new life. To this Family.
However far we may wander, however distant we may move, we know within ourselves that we have these personal roots. And those roots will keep us, guide us, sustain us and lead us to our Salvation.
Today, as a community, we celebrate that the human family has a Saviour. Thanks be to God, we know this! However, as individuals we celebrate the fact that however distant as individuals we have moved from our potentials to love and be happy - Jesus, and the love of Mary and Joseph, as our roots, has marked us for good! Through the love of this community, through the love of our friends, and those who pray for us, we can always return to this Redeeming Love. Which Love, from this eve, mysteriously, will grow with us, will rely on us, just as we rely on Him, for the rest of our life. Amen.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..