Friends, in today’s Gospel an angel tells Joseph in a dream to name his son Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.”
Well, that’s the good news of Christmas. The rightful King has returned to reclaim what is his and to let the prisoners go free. The God announced by all the prophets and patriarchs—by Abraham, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Isaiah—is a God of justice, and this means that he burns to set things right. God hates the sin and violence and injustice that have rendered gloomy his beautiful world, and therefore he comes into that world as a warrior, ready to fight. But he arrives (and here is the delicious irony of Christmas) stealthily, clandestinely—sneaking, as it were, unnoticed behind enemy lines.
The King comes as a helpless infant, born of insignificant parents in a small town of a distant outpost of the Roman Empire. He will conquer through the finally irresistible power of love, the same power with which he made the universe.
Reflect: How did Jesus conquer with love, and where are you called to do the same?