A good friend sent me this piece written by Fr. Horacio de la Costa, S.J. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All!
Heaven is Here: Down is Up and Up is Down
by HORACIO DELA COSTA, S.J.
Christmas is when we celebrate the unexpected; it is the festival of surprise. This is the night when shepherds wake to the songs of angels; when the Earth has a star for a satellite; when wise men go on a fool’s errand, bringing gifts to a Prince they have not seen, in a country they do not know.
This is the night when one small donkey bears on its back the weight of the world’s desire, and an ox plays host to the Lord of heaven.
This is the night when we are told to seek our King, not in a palace but in a stable. Although we have stood here, year after year, as our fathers before us, the wonder has not faded, nor will it ever fade; the wonder of that moment when we push open the little door, and enter, and entering find in the arms of a Mother, who is a Virgin, a Baby Who is a God.
Chesterton has said it for all of us: the only way to view Christmas properly is to stand on one’s head.
Was there ever a house more topsy-turvy than the House of Christmas, the cave where Christ was born?
For here, suddenly, in the very heart of Earth, is Heaven; down is up and up is down, the angels and the stars look down on God who made them, and God looks up at the things He made.
There is no room in an inn for Him who made room, and to spare, for the Milky Way; and where God is homeless, all men are at home.
We were promised a Savior, but we never dreamed that God himself would come to save us. We knew that He loved us, but we never dared to think that He loved us so much as to become like us.
But that is the way God gives. His gifts are never quite what we expect, but always something better than we hoped for.
We can only dream of things too good to be true; God has a habit of giving things too good to be false.
That is why our faith is a faith in the unexpected, a religion of surprise.
Now more than ever, living in times so troubled, facing a future so uncertain, we need such faith. We need it for ourselves, and we need it to give to others.
We must remind the world that if Christmas comes in the depth of winter, it is that there may be an Easter in the spring.