“To become fully human is to become like God,
to become like God is to “become as little children.” (Matthew 18:3)
- Vassilios Papavassiliou, Meditations for the 12 Great Feasts

As we approach the Nativity of our Lord, our calendars begin to fill with holiday parties, shopping, and our homes with twinkling lights and Christmas music. These things can bring us great joy, but there is so much more to this beautiful season.

Our Lord’s Nativity brings us the opportunity to be reminded of His love for us, and what it means to follow His example and become like God. God comes to us in complete humility, and in so doing He shows us that all that is truly good in humanity, is also humble.

During a season of joy, there are also circumstances where people find themselves in pain, unwell, or struggling. However we may find ourselves as we approach the Christmas season, Christ reminds us in Matthew 18 that, “whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Christ reminds us that the effort we make to be humble, and the patience we have to receive and give help to others, will make a difference. While everyone’s experience of the holidays may differ, our efforts to be the best version of ourselves this season starts with rooting ourselves in Christ, through the life of the Church and our personal efforts. This will not only improve our lived experience, but also be deeply meaningful in the lives of those around us, especially those of us who may be struggling.

While thinking of how to decorate the house, which festivities to participate in, and what gifts to buy, let’s also make sure that the beauty we see around us is not missing within us. Once we challenge ourselves to be better, and respond to God’s love by participating in the Sacraments, then our Christmas decorations and celebrations will truly become the outward expression of the inner purity and love that we share.