As we approach that most wonderful event of the birth of Christ on Christmas Day, we are reminded of how his mother, Our Lady, believed the message of the Archangel Gabriel that she was going to be the mother of the Son of God. (cfr. Lk 1,26-38)
She tried to clarify how it was going to happen since, according to her, she had no relation with any man. That was when the archangel explained to her how it was going to be. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God,” the angel said.
To be sure, Our Lady must have not understood how it was going to be since what was told her was beyond the ways of nature. But because of her deep faith, she just said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
We should try to echo the same response of Mary, since we cannot doubt, if we have a working faith, that the Son of the Most High would also like to be born in us, since we are actually patterned after him.
Remember what Christ once said: “Whoever is not with me is against me. Whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11,23) It’s very clear that we are supposed to be so united with Christ, so identified with him, that he and us can be considered simply as one. We are meant to assume the very identity of Christ.
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 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 or 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.
We need to do everything to pursue that goal of assuming the very identity of Christ. For this, a strong faith is needed. And it should give rise to the appropriate action on our part, so that little by little we think, speak and do as Christ would think, speak and do. We should react to the different situations of our life the way Christ would.
So, at Christ’s birth on Christmas, let’s see if we can allow Christ to be born in us too! He wants it. We should also want it!*