Love Came Down at Christmas

Love Came Down at Christmas
Dr. Fr. Davis George
A prince wanted to find a maiden suitable to be his queen. One day while running an errand in the local village for his father he passed through a poor section. As he glanced out of the windows of the carriage his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant maiden. During the ensuing days he often passed by the young lady and soon fell in love. But he had a problem. How would he seek her hand? He could order her to marry him. But even a prince wants his bride to marry him freely and voluntarily and not through coercion. He could put on his most splendid uniform and drive up to her front door in a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the maiden loved him or was simply overwhelmed with the entire splendor. The prince came up with another solution. He would give up his kingly robe. He moved, into the village, entering not with a crown but in the garb of a peasant. He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns, and talked their language. In time the maiden grew to love him, because of who he was and because he loved her first.
Amazing power of love we see in the world; in human beings; in birds and animals; in the world of creation. A mother sacrificing her entire life for her children out of love. A young man and woman in love ready to go through all struggles to keep their love growing. Genuine love will not count the cost but will give and give; will make time and space for the person we are in love with. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16). God did not become a human being for any particular nation or religion or group. God loved the world consisting of different languages, cultures, religions, traditions and belief systems; saints and sinners.  Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ it was foretold, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Which means God with us) (Is 7:14). What an amazing story of God’s unconditional love for humankind. And that is what we see on the first Christmas night. Love came down.
He came in the silence of the night piercing the darkness of the night and bringing light and salvation.  As written in the book of Wisdom centuries before the birth of Christ, “For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne, into the midst of the land that was doomed, a stern warrior carrying the sharp sword of thy authentic command, and stood and filled all things with death, and touched heaven while standing on the earth.” (Wis 18:14-16)  
Man landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969 and came back to earth successfully.  2000 years ago God came to this world leaving behind his glory and power to live among us and save us from sin and death.  Longest Journey of love not to explore the World but to save humankind.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”  (John 1:1,14) And for this Jesus had to strip himself of the glory and honour he had and become an ordinary human being. “He emptied himself taking the form of a servant…and made himself obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:6-8) Love is a journey of self emptying and humility.
What does love look like? St. Augustine said, “It has feet to go to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others.” Love came down when Jesus showed compassion, love and forgiveness.  Love came down when Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman; the woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus, Mathew the tax collector and transformed their lives.  Love came down when he made the deaf hear, the dumb speak, the lame walk and the blind see.   Love came down when he multiplied five loaves and two fish and fed over five thousand people.  Love came down when he died on the cross for others and prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Lk 23:24)
We can show love when we go out of the comfort zone, go to the peripheries, to the last, the least and the lost.  Love has to appear in action. “Let us not love in word or in speech, but in deed and in truth.” (1 Jn 3:18)  And that is what God did on the first Christmas night.  In today’s world we need to establish a culture of love, a civilization of love. We need a revolution of tenderness as Pope Francis said. Hatred and violence will not solve any problem. Only love in action. Love is patient and kind, Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude... (1 Cor 13).  Mother Teresa once said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Love begins in your heart, in your home.  Less of self-righteousness and religious fundamentalism; more of compassion, empathy, kindness and understanding. We deserve a better world.
The famous author, Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry".  Leo Buscaglia said, "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  Let us build a better world and treat each other as children of the same God with humility, respect and kindness. As Christina Rossetti wrote in her poem, “Love came down”: 
“Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.”

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      euq’; us pk¡n ij igyh ckj 20 tqykbZ] 1969 esa vius dne j[ks vkSj okil /kjrh ij vk;kA 2000 o’kZ igys ijes”oj viuh efgek vkSj lkeFkZ dks R;kx dj gekjs chp Msjk fd;k fd ge iki vkSj e`R;q ls cp ldsA izse dh lcls yEch ;k=k] lalkj dks ns[kus ds fy, ugh cfYd euq’; tkfr dks iki vkSj e`R;q ls cpkus ds fy,A ^^vkfn esa “kCn Fkk] ”kCn bZ”oj ds lkFk Fkk vkSj “kCn bZ”oj Fkk] “kCn us “kjhj /kkj.k dj gekjs chp fuokl fd;kAA** ¼;qgUuk 1%1]14½ vkSj blds fy, ;h”kq dks viuh efgek vkSj vknj dks NksM+dj ,d lk/kkj.k euq’; dk :Ik /kkj.k djuk iM+kA** fQj Hkh mUgksaus nkl dk :Ik /kkj.k dj rFkk euq’;ksa ds leku cu dj vius dks nhu&ghu cuk fy;k vkSj mUgksaus euq’; dk :i /kkj.k djus ds ckn Øwl ij ej.k rd] vkKkdkjh cus jgs**A ¼fQfyfIi;ksa 2%6&8½ izse] uezrk vkSj R;kx dh ;k=k gSA

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      izse dk eryc D;k gS\ fy;ks cqldkxfy;k tks fd ,d izfr;ksfxrk esa fu.kkZ;d Fks] crkrs gSa fd ml izfr;ksfxrk dk mn~ns”; lcls T;knk /;ku j[kus okys ckyd dks [kkstuk FkkA ml izfr;ksfxrk dk fotsrk ,d 4 lky dk ckyd fudyk ftldk iM+kslh ,d o`) lTtu Fkk ftlusa gky gh esa viuh iRuh dks [kks;kA ml o`) lTtu dks jksrk ns[kdj og ckyd mlds vk¡xu esa tkdj] mlds xksn esa p<+dj ogha cSBk jgkA tc ml ckyd dh ek¡ us] ckyd ls iwNk fd mlus ml iM+kslh ls D;k cksyk ml ckyd us viuh ek¡ dks mRrj fn;k&dqN ugha] eSaus cl muds jksus esa enn dhA fy;ks cqldkxfy;k dgrs gSa fd dbZ ckj ge fdlh ds thou dks Nwus dh lkeF;Z dks] ,d eqLdku dks] dqN ehBs cksyksa dks] ,d lquus okys dku dks] ,d lPph iz”kalk dks] ,d NksVs ls NksVs dk;Z dks] tks n”kkZrk gS fd gesa nwljksa dh fÝd gS& bu lHkh phtksa dks ge de vk¡drs gSaA ;s lHkh fdlh ds thou dks ifjofRkZr djus dh {kerk j[krs gSaA

      ge ,d csgrj nqfu;k cuk,¡ vkSj ,d&nwwljs dks mlh ije firk ds cPps le>dj uezrk] vknj vkSj n;k Hkko ds lkFk O;ogkj djsaA vkidk izse bl /kjrh ij mrjus nsaA

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                                                                                                                  Dr. Davis George

Many years ago some divers discovered a sunken ship. One of the treasures they found on it was a man’s wedding ring. Etched on the wide gold band of the ring was a hand holding a heart. Under it was this moving inscription: “I have nothing more to give you.”  This inscription could have been placed on Jesus’ cross. For by his death, Jesus gave us everything he had: his body, his blood, his love, his life. He had nothing more to give us.  Someone asked Jesus how much do you love me? He stretched out his hands on the cross and said “this much” and died. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” ( Jn 3:16-17) Amazing  and unconditional love God has for every human being on earth. He wants human kind to experience forgiveness and peace; strength and consolation in times of struggle and failure. “When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (Jn 12:31-32). Christ the crucified is the power and wisdom of God. ''A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act, “said Mahatma Gandhi
The death that changed the world continues to change our lives. There is unbelievable saving power in the death of Jesus because he died for others as a sacrificial offering. “While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardy die for a righteous man- though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”(Rom 5:6-8)  As St. Peter says we have been redeemed not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with precious blood of Christ. (1Pt1:18)  He was born to die that we all may live.  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith in his blood.”(Rom 3:23).
The point of Christ’s Passion, however, is not an analysis of society.  “Christ did not come to explain things, but to change human beings. The cross, then, does not ‘stand’ against the world but for the world: to give meaning to all the suffering that has been, that is, and that will be in human history,” Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., said. Through his death he gave us new hope, new life and another chance to live again, freed from the slavery to sin.
Today, we are constantly hearing about death and violence, hatred and revenge. “Why then are we here to recall the death of a man who lived 2,000 years ago? The reason is that Jesus death on the cross has changed forever the very face of death and given it a new meaning. The cross is the living proclamation that the final victory does not belong to the one who triumphs over others but to the one who triumphs over self; not to the one who causes suffering but to the one who is suffering. The Carthusian monks have adopted a coat of arms that hangs at the entrance to their monastery. It has a globe of the earth with a cross above it, and written across it: “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis,” (The cross stands firm as the world turns.)  On Good Friday let us repeat every year with the words of the poet Venanzio Fortunato: ‘O crux, ave spes unica,’ (Hail, O Cross, our only hope.) We have the opportunity to make, on this day, the most important decision of our lives, one that opens wide before us the doors of eternity: to believe! To believe that “Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification.” (Rom 4:25) What is required is only that we do not hide from the presence of God, as Adam and Eve did after their sin, that we recognize our need to be redeemed; that we cannot do it ourselves. As we gaze upon the cross, let us say from the bottom of our hearts, like the tax collector in the temple, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ and then we too, like he did, will return home ‘justified,’  that is, made right before him, forgiven, made a new creature. Jesus died for you and for me that we may have life eternal.

St. Aloysius Institute of Technology, 
Jabalpur. (