1 John 2:12-17
As we continue celebrating the Christmas season, we might quietly wonder… Why did Jesus come among us as a baby? Whey didn’t he come upon this earth as a warrior on a horse, or as a king in a castle, or as a fifty foot giant commanding our attention. Why did he come as a little baby?
I think he came as a baby, first of all, to show us that we have nothing to be afraid of. The angel Gabriel told Mary, "Do not be afraid." The angel told Joseph, "Do not be afraid." The angels told the shepherds, "Do not be afraid." So many times Jesus tells his followers, "Do not be afraid." Jesus came to cast out fear. Do not be afraid of God. Do not be afraid of death. Do not be afraid of those who can harm the body but cannot harm the soul. Do not be afraid to live.
Secondly, a baby wants to be held and loved. Jesus comes as a baby to tell us that he wants our love.
And thirdly, it is natural to pass a little baby around for others to hold. Once held, Jesus says, "Now give me away. Give me to others so that I may bring them joy. And when you give me away, you receive more of me."
Yes, Jesus came as a little baby so that we would not be afraid.
He came as a little baby so that we would love him.
He came as a little baby so that we could give him to others.
In Luke’s gospel we read about Mary visiting her cousin, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy! The baby was John the Baptist. It was the presence of Jesus in the womb of Mary that caused John to leap for joy. Christmas calls upon each of us to be like Mary, that is, to bring joy to others by bringing Christ to others.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/