Christmas – An Invitation from Heaven
The birth of Jesus Christ is described by the writers of the Holy Gospels with respectful apprehension. This is because they realised that this wondrous event was a heavenly invitation to every human being. The first worshippers of Christ were the shepherds, who were informed by the angels. Of the wise and educated, however, only the Magi (wise men) from the East responded to this invitation and came to worship the newborn King. In contrast, other astrologers saw the unusually bright star in the sky but made no effort to discover its significance.
The worship of the Magi, which was made with simplicity and humility, represents their acceptance of the perpetual invitation of Heaven: to accept in our heart the Newborn Saviour. God has also been sending us invitations for over 2000 years. He sends us invitations in writing, secretly, verbally, and even miraculously. Everyone on earth has received one or more invitations from Him. They arrive through reading the pages of the Holy Bible or a spiritual book or by being present at the time of a miraculous event. But let us ask ourselves: do we have the eagerness of the Magi when we receive an invitation from God? Often, instead of being willing to act, we remain unmoved and offer various excuses or at best a lukewarm response.
The Magi made their arduous journey to see the newborn King. Their excitement and devotion would have been even greater if they knew that the King was also God who would establish a new order on both Heaven and earth. We, in our generation know that He is God, and that our journey will not end in a stable to see the child Jesus. It will instead end in Heaven, where we shall meet the triumphant Christ! How, then, can we justify our disinterest to receiving Jesus Christ into our hearts?
We must be careful to avoid being lukewarm towards Him or thinking that we cannot see Him as the Russian astronaut Gherman Titov said. Titov was the second human to circumnavigate the Earth in 1961, and on his return to earth he boasted that he did not see God. Later, at a reception in Moscow, he met Patriarch Alexios, who asked him whether he knew God. Titov was startled, and asked, “what do you mean?” The Patriarch replied, “how can you say that you have not seen somebody whom you do not know. How did you imagine you would see God?” Titov responded, “in reality, I do not know how to recognise Him.” “Come with me”, the Patriarch replied, “and I will show you how to see God, and next time you are in space you will see Him. You can be certain that you will see Him.”
There is a secret as to how a Christian can see the Newborn Christ. He needs a sincere intention with humility. He must examine things objectively, without preconceptions. He must live “a life of Christ”, tasting the hidden joy of prayer and experiencing the Grace of the Mysteries of the Church. Then, he will discover that the Star Christ does not stand on the material outer space, where the astronauts spend their time, but He stands and moves inside the spiritual space of our soul. No telescope can see that Star; but it can be seen by all faithful people, and even by those who are blind!
Source: Lychnos December 2019 – January 2020