“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favours!” (Luke 2:14).
This was a message of praise from the angels to the shepherds who wasted no time to seek the Prince of Peace - Jesus. After finding their peace and joy in Jesus, the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all what they saw and witnessed.
Christmas is the season of joy and peace. It is a time when Jesus wants to give us this message: Only in me you will find your peace. “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; and He is named, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Often we try finding our peace in different places - in family reunions, around the Christmas tree, in the unwrapping of gifts, and amidst the noise of the celebration. And we lose all that joy as the sound of festivities is silenced. Perhaps the truth is that staying busy or buzzing with activities will not bring us peace. Peace will come with Him, in Him, and by Him. Jesus seems to be saying, seek your peace not in things or people, but in me.
This Christmas, once again peace is coming to us in the form of a person and that is Jesus Himself. That is why St. Paul says that Jesus Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). What does this peace mean in our day to day life? When our hearts are troubled, we do not lose faith; instead turn our restless hearts to Jesus. When we are not able to see into the future, or understand the past, our peace will be found in Him. When life seems unfair, He will still be our peace. When we are lonely or depressed or sad, He will continue to be our peace. When we cannot grasp our purpose in this world, He will be our peace. Peace is only found in the one who was found lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. Peace is found in having a relationship with Jesus where we can run into His merciful arms at any time and share our joys and sorrows with Him. When the shepherds heard the message, they went to meet baby Jesus and spent time with Him. That meeting changed their lives for good. That meeting made them happy, joyful, and rejoicing people.
This Christmas, let us take the time to meet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us pour out our hearts before Him and tell Him how much He means to us. Through the Sacrament of Confession, let us receive the grace to begin anew. Jesus says, “I am standing at the door, knocking; If you hear my voice and open the door I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Rev 3:20). Each one of us has an invitation this Christmas to open the door of our hearts and allow Jesus to take control of our life. Surely like the shepherds we will find our true joy and peace in Jesus once we encounter Him personally. May Jesus be in every aspect of our celebration this Christmas season, for He alone is the light, the song, and the gift we need the most.
This Christmas, as we sit around the Christmas tree, may we be reminded that the greatest gift was not placed under a Christmas tree, but instead on the cross of Calvary. Let the peace of Christ guard your hearts and minds as you live in Him. May God fill you and your families with the joy and peace in knowing Christ Jesus and may His gracious Spirit rest upon you. Happy and Blessed Christmas!
Fr. Soji Olikkal.
Priest in Charge