The Angel Gabriel said to the virgin engaged to Joseph the carpenter: “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. You shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I know not man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. The holy child who will be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.”
The birth of the Son of God is the most important event in all history. We measure our time from then, nineteen hundred and seventy-five years ago. At that time, Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus was the most powerful person in the world. Today, the Emperor is forgotten, but Christmas, the birthday of Christ, is being celebrated everywhere, except in the one-fourth of the world controlled by Communism.
Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, poverty, suffering, disease and death might drive us to black despair if there had never been a first Christmas. Across twenty centuries, we are sustained because the Son of God came on earth and suffered poverty, injustice, pain and death, so that we may all be eligible for eternal happiness.
We should heed the message from the One whose birth day we celebrate today: Love God. Keep His Commandments. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren, you do for Me. If you would be perfect, give what you have to the poor and follow Me.
Amidst all the problems in the world today, let us pause to rejoice in the message that the angel brought to the shepherds on that first Christmas: “I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all people. For this day is born a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”