“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2) Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Newly-Born Lord, With our hearts filled with ineffable joy and much gladness we celebrate the Birth of Christ the Saviour, the Prince of Peace and Father of the Age to come. We celebrate this to renew within us the message of Christmas that “God has visited His people.” (Luke 7: 16). We celebrate the visit of the Divine Redeemer to the human race as a whole and, at the same time, the Saviour of each human-being. We are informed from the texts of the Holy Gospel about the visit of the humble, simple, innocent shepherds to the stable where the Eternal King of the world was born. The angelic hymn, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2: 14) echoed in their ears. This fascinated them and, when the angels invited them, they followed them to the humble cave where they met the Divine Child in swaddling clothes and laid in the manger of the animals. We may stress that the shepherds arrived as representatives of simple people, whom the Lord invited to come to Him. The Jews were expecting the King, the Messiah, with great longing. Of course, the suffering during the captivity which was imposed upon them by the Roman conquerors made them forget the real image of the expected Messiah. The Messiah would come to redeem man from the consequences of sin. To re-unite man with God and open the closed doors of paradise, which were locked through the fall and disobedience of the progenitors. But His contemporary Jews wanted Him as a strong, political leader, Who would free them from the Roman rulers. The rest of humanity enslaved by its passions, sunk in the sinful way of life which was brought upon them by idolatry. They were also expecting some Redeemer so as to enjoy relief and salvation. However, “when the fullness of the time had come,” (Galatians 4:4) the expected Messiah arrived. St Mary His Mother, accompanied by her protector, the old Joseph the betrothed was not received with any exceptional welcome and care in Bethlehem, where they went in order to fulfill the required census. St Luke the Evangelist says that when they arrived in Bethlehem, “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2: 7). The multitude of people who were born in Bethlehem of Judaea, dashed to declare their names responding to the demand of the political power. In this instance, the owners of the inns accepted all those who were able to pay more. Thus, the poor Holy Family had no chance in securing a place anywhere. Therefore, the King of all, condescended to be born in a cave and to be wrapped in swaddling clothes inside the manger, warmed by the breath of the animals. As soon as the days of the Nativity and the census passed, the majority of people who came had already left Bethlehem. Then our Lady, the Divine Child and Joseph managed to locate some place and move in. The Gospel records that when the wise men arrived in Palestine, guided by the bright star, they sought the Newly-Born King. They ended up in the capital, Jerusalem. They tried to find out where the Newly-Born King of the Jews lived. When their meeting with King Herod ended, the bright star appeared again and led them to the house where the Holy Family was sheltered. Let us bear in mind that the magi were not something similar to what people nowadays think of sorcerers. In this instance we are talking about people who were God-illumined, wise and learned. We may say that they were representing, on the one hand, the elite of knowledge and, on the other hand, the heathen world, that is the gentiles. Their presents of gold, incense and myrrh, each one symbolised something. In offering gold they recognised the Royal Office of the Lord. In offering incense they confessed His Divinity and in offering myrrh they revealed His future death on the cross. However, we must remember that regardless to which social group each one of us belongs, Christ is born for everyone. We must not behave like His contemporary Jews. Let us seek the Divine Child in the faces of our fellowmen and let us offer Him our soul to become His own throne. Let us open our hearts to the Divine Child to enter, to dwell in, to renew and to illumine us, as He illumined the simple shepherds, as He illumined the wise men and as He illumined countless human beings of goodwill through the centuries. Let us hasten with the shepherds and the wise men to worship Him and offer Him our presents. Glory, honour and worship belong to the Newly-Born Divine Childk of Bethlehem now and ever. Amen!