[This reflection is based on the Scripture readings for Christmas Mass during the day.]
Communication is a tricky business. First you have to come up with the right words to say, then you hope the listener hears what you intend. Between your original thought and the listenerís final interpretation there is plenty of room for misunderstanding.
So you can imagine Godís frustration in wanting to communicate to a wounded humanity just how sacred and deeply loved we are, only to have some hear only judgment and condemnation, while others hear nothing at all.
This happens because people tend to hear what they want to hear, and the temptation to form a worldview based on the negative runs deep within the human race.
The world God has made shouts out on a daily basis of our Creatorís goodness, yet many are deaf to the message. Sadder still, they discourage others from hearing it.
So it has been throughout human history. The lens through which many have chosen to view life, the universe, and God has been warped by fear and suffering. This is the legacy of sin in our world.
Whatís a loving God to do?
ìIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory of the Fatherís only Son, full of grace and truth.î (John 1: 1, 14)
Christmas is the feast of the Incarnation, the inexpressibly joyful celebration of Godís love for humankind. Our God is with us, within us, one of us.
In Jesus we have the very model of a human life well lived, not dictated by fear, liberated from the slavery of sin. In him we see personified Godís love for the poor and Godís solidarity with those who suffer.
As expressed by St. Paul, the Son of God emptied himself of his divinity to become one of us. In Jesus we do not have a super-being who played the God card whenever the going got rough.
Jesus succeeded not in spite of his humanity, but because he refused to ever be less than fully human.
And that is what God asks of us. Just as the birds of the air and the fish of the sea give glory to God by being true to their natures, so do we glorify our Creator by living fully human lives.
Therein lies the good news that God had so ached to share with us and does, magnificently, in the person of Jesus: It is so very good to be human!
This Christmas may you be blessed with the joys of humanity found in home and family, faith and friendship.
May you discover anew the unique gift to the world that is you, and may you be filled with fresh resolve to share that gift with others.
- Seeing the face of Christ through sponsorship [1st Advent reflection]
- God shares in our humanity [2nd Advent reflection]
- Choosing to be ‘eager,’ not anxious [3rd Advent reflection]
- God dares us to dream big [4th Advent reflection]
- We are God’s partners in serving others [2nd Christmas reflection]
- Recognizing Christ when we find him [3rd Christmas reflection]