Archbishop of Hyderabad On the 25th March this year we commemorated and celebrated that day in human history on which the Blessed Virgin Mary consented to the Eternal Father’s proposal to Her to conceive His Eternal only-begotten Son in Her womb as ‘the WORD become flesh’ through His creation of a true and complete human nature for Him in Her virginal womb through His own Holy Spirit, and thereby become the ‘gate of heaven’ for His Eternal Son to enter our world, clothed in our human nature, to encounter sinners face to face as Jesus the Lamb of God ‘who takes away the sins of the world,’ and invite them to abandon their native sin-death condition and share the holiness and immortality of His divine Sonship as the adopted children of His Eternal Father through His gift of the Holy Spirit to them: ‘And the WORD became flesh and dwelt amongst us, and we beheld His glory, glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’ And ‘to as many as received Him, He gave power to become children of God, to them who believe in His name (Jn.1:14,12)’.

From March 25th to December 25th every year, the Church commemorates and celebrates the wonderful events that took place during the gestation period of the human nature of God’s Son in the Immaculate Mary’s Virgin’s womb: On the 31st May, the day of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin to St. Elizabeth on which St. Elizabeth became the first person in human history to encounter the Incarnate Son of God in the Virgin Mary’s womb through the promised Holy Spirit received by her own baby still gestating in her own womb, and cried out Her profession of faith in Him: ‘Whence is this to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold! As soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leapt in my womb for joy! (Lk.2:1:43-44).’ And on the 24th June, the day of the birth of John the Baptist when his father Zacharias loudly praised the Eternal Father for ‘visiting His people and redeeming them’ and professed his faith in His Eternal Son whom He had made a ‘horn of salvation’ in the Virgin Mary’s womb and through Him anointed his own son as ‘prophet of the most High’ to go before the face of the Lord and prepare His way before Him (Lk.1:69,76).

On the 25th of Dec this year we once again joyfully commemorate and celebrate that day on which the Blessed Virgin Mary brought the incarnate Son of the Eternal Father from Her virginal womb into this world to begin His own worship of His Eternal Father with His own human nature ‘in spirit and truth’ and ultimately call all the sinners of this idolatrous world to join Him in doing so. This was the occasion when St.Joseph first saw Him face to face and silently expressed his profession of faith in Him. Then it was the turn of the shepherds directed by the Angels to meet Him face to face in the manger and profess their faith in Him as the promised ‘Christ the Lord’ (Lk.2:17,18). Next it will be that holy man Simeon’s turn in the Temple to hail Him as ‘the salvation’ prepared by the Eternal Father for all the peoples of the world (Lk.2:30-31). And in line with them and with all those who have met God’s incarnate Son in this world during the past two thousand years it is our turn on this Christmas day to receive Him from the Eternal Father in the Holy Mass, join Him in the Holy Spirit to worship His Eternal Father with Him in spirit and in truth with our bodily selves, and hail Him with the whole Church as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world’ and eat Him as ‘the living bread come down from heaven’ in order to belong to Him and live Him ‘forever.’ This alone is true Christmas joy! For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking but love, joy & righteousness in the Holy Spirit! Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all of you!