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“A holy day has dawned upon us”

December 25, 2023

FINALLY, it’s Christmas! A child is born for us! Thus, in the Alleluia verse of the day’s Mass, we are made to say: “A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations and adore the Lord. For today a great light has come upon the earth.”

It’s indeed a day of great, undescribable joy! In the Opening Prayer of the Mass for the day, a beautiful sentiment is expressed: “Lord God, we praise you for creating man, and still more, restoring him in Christ. Your Son shared our weakness: may we share his glory…”

Once again, our Christian faith tells us who we really are. Despite our natural awkwardness in believing this truth of our faith, the truth is that we have been created to be like God, to share in his very life and nature. And no amount of our sins and foolishness can detract from that truth. God will do everything to recover us. All we have to do is to go along with God’s will and ways as far as we can.

We need to process this truth of our faith about ourselves very slowly, because it will obviously astound us to think that we are supposed to be one with Christ. Who, me, one with Christ? We most likely would be tempted to say, tell it to the Marines!

But that’s just the naked truth about us, whether we like it or not. We cannot be any other if we just bother also to know why it is so. An expression that is relevant to this matter is ‘alter Christus,’ another Christ. And it’s worthwhile to know what it is all about.

We are supposed to be ‘alter Christus,’ the goal and ideal that is meant for us, though we need also to do our part, free beings as are, to achieve that status. God, our Creator and Father, wants us to be that way, though he does not impose it on us without our consent that should also be shown with deeds and not just with intentions and words.

We are supposed to be ‘alter Christus’ simply because, if we have been created in the image and likeness of God, and Christ is the Son of God who is the perfect image and likeness that God has of himself, then we can only conclude that we have to be like Christ.

In other words, Christ as the Son of God is the pattern of our humanity. If we want to know who we really are, how we ought to be, all we have to do is to look at Christ and try our best, with God’s grace, to identify ourselves with him.

More than that, because of our sin that defaced the original state in which we, in Adam and Eve, were created, Christ is the Son of God who became man to save us. The immediate conclusion we can derive from this truth of our faith is that for us to know how to handle our sinfulness, again all we have to do is to look at Christ and try our best, with God’s grace, to identify ourselves with him.

So, let’s welcome Christ to our life. At his birth on Christmas Day, we should also remind ourselves that Christ actually wants to be born in each of us, so we can truly be “alter Christus” (another Christ), if not, “ipse Christus” (Christ himself).

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas, everyone!