Blessed John Paul II, in his Angelus message of December 19, 1999, explained that Christmas is not simply the remembrance of the Event that took place 2,000 years ago when, according to the Gospel, the power of God took on the frailty of a baby. It is really about a living reality that is repeated every year in the heart of believers.
“The mystery of the Holy Night, which historically happened two thousand years ago, must be lived as a spiritual event in the ‘today’ of the Liturgy,” the Pope clarified. “The Word who found a dwelling in Mary’s womb comes to knock on the heart of every person with singular intensity this Christmas.”
JPII addressed this theme again in his address on Dec. 18, 2002, when he said, “The liturgy of Advent…helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, it is necessary to understand that the whole of our life must be an ‘advent,’ a vigilant awaiting of the final coming of Christ. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.”