See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, December 26, 2011

The enduring grace of Christmas.



It happened.

Christmas isn't about presents - or even receiving what you want in prayer.  It isn't about the giving or the receiving, or the lack there of.  It isn't about lights and decorations and greetings and parties or carols or religious or secular Christmas songs and stories.  It isn't about delicious food and drinks and treats and sweets.  It isn't about setting up a creche in front of the courthouse or insisting upon calling a tree a Christmas tree or wearing a button that says I celebrate Christmas.  It isn't about family being more important than going to church on Sunday because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year.  It isn't about all of those customs and traditions that have become ritualized and formalized or just trashed over the decades. 

It isn't about me or my religious and political positions, nor my moral judgements, or even my social position or influence - low or high or in-between or non-existent.  It isn't about who is for us or who is against us.

It is about love.
Beloved,
let us love one another
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten of God
and has knowledge of God.
The man without love has known nothing of God
and has no knowledge of God,
for God is love.
God's love was revealed in our midst in this way:
he sent his only Son to the world
that we might have life through him.
Love then consists in this:
not that we have loved God,
but that he has loved us
and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.
Beloved,
if God has loved us so,
we must have the same love for one another... 1 John 4

Christmas is an epiphany, not a matter of sentimentality or a commercial celebration.

Jesus Christ is the proof that God has heard our cry. And not only this! God’s love for us is so strong that he cannot remain aloof; he comes out of himself to enter into our midst and to share fully in our human condition (cf. Ex 3:7-12). The answer to our cry which God gave in Jesus infinitely transcends our expectations, achieving a solidarity which cannot be human alone, but divine. Only the God who is love, and the love which is God, could choose to save us in this way, which is certainly the lengthiest way, yet the way which respects the truth about him and about us: the way of reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation. - Benedict XVI

In thanksgiving for the one thing necessary.


Feast of Stephen

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful post & pictures! God bless you always dear Terry! I was thinking of you today - how you cut through the denial & tell it how it is! So important & necessary!

    Pretty Amazing Grace!

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  2. What will be your post about the Three Magi?

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  3. This year, it seemed like Christmas is about poverty of spirit, about us becoming truly human because God has. I've often wondered how it is that God tries to lift us up to Him, what grace really is. I think it is, in part, about acceptance of our poverty as human beings. The confidence to have this acceptance is a direct fruit of the Incarnation - God's 'Plan B' of sorts to become man and serve as the New Adam. I don't think grace so much as lifts us 'up' but rather brings us deeper into our poverty; and we could not do this without anxiety or fear or the desire to kill ourselves without grace, without God being with us where we are. We 'become' God truly because God has become like us - He's already where we are, in a sense, if we accept this and learn the secrets of our poverty. That seems to me why it was essential for God to become man - that's really what grace is: that act and all the implications of it. So often we hear that grace is not God waving some magic wand of salvation or blessing from afar. I think, then, that grace is a closing of the gap between us and Him by the Incarnation and a re-writing of the script of the divine plan such that God's entrance into humanity forever has redefined what it means to be 'saved' or to be in communion with Him.

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