The great prophet Isaiah gives us the heartening words above (from Is 52:7-10) on this Christmas day. Boy, can’t we use glad tidings, peace, good news, and salvation, particularly these days when the news more and more is filled with anything but. Many folks get disappointed or utterly dismiss Christ because they don’t see these positive things happening in our world or even in their lives. But they (and we at times) are simply not seeing clearly. Sin clouds. Sin brings darkness. Sin is at the root of unhappy tidings, discord, bad news, damnation. Jesus came but sin remained. Yet Jesus overcame sin. As today’s Gospel tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5).
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) The Adoration of the Shepherds circa 1608
For our part, we can imitate Christ by asking for the grace to eliminate sin in our lives and doing just what He came into the world to do: bring glad tidings that the Son of God became man for us, announce the peace of soul that only He can deliver, bear the Gospel (the Good News) to every one we encounter by our actions and words, and announce the salvation that is offered to every person who embraces the Lord with the obedience of faith (see Paul’s Letter to the Romans).
Whatever tidings or news come our way, however peaceful or turbulent our lives are here, we have the sure hope of joy, tranquility, and salvation if we only remain faithful. All because the “Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14) and fulfilled His Father’s will perfectly unto death and life.
May you and yours be blessed this Christmas and always by the Prince of Peace.