Homily Notes: Christmas

"God makes himself a child so that we may love him, so that we may dare to love him, and as a child trustingly lets himself be taken into our arms."

Pope Benedict said those words in his Christmas homily back in 2012.

And every year, as I prepare my Christmas homily, those words come back to me.

When you look at the history of salvation in the Bible, God's interactions with humanity, you can see that His presence is almost always overwhelming. He comes in fire and thunder; people are afraid that they will die if they see His face; the prophets often describe His coming as something terrifying to experience.

God is so much bigger, so much more than we can handle with our human minds and hearts.

That is why it is such an amazing, radical thing that we celebrate tonight.

We could never reach up to God. He's the One who made everything. The gulf between me and God is infinitely wider than between me and an ant. No matter how smart or how rich or how powerful we become, we could never grasp onto God.

So He came down to us.

And He didn't come in the power and majesty that is rightfully His; He came as a helpless baby.

God made Himself weak and vulnerable so that we could hold Him, so that we could love Him.

That's how much He loves us.

We say it and hear it so often that it's easy to forget the truth of it: God loves us. He loves us more than we could possibly imagine; more than we could ever love anything. He loves us so much that He puts Himself in our hands.

So tonight, or in the days to come, make sure you take some time to accept that love. Sit down with the nativity scene in your home. Quiet your mind, silence your phone, and accept the completely unmerited gift of love that Jesus is offering you.

He came here, to this broken, violent world - for you. With nothing but love for you.

Will you let that love into your heart? Will you let that love change you?

Don't let this Christmas pass by without thanking Jesus for loving you so much.