Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

We are at the beginning of the liturgical year with the season of advent. On Christmas Day all of history for a Christian, unites in the crib at Bethlehem.The liturgical year is a visual aid that focuses our attention on the events of history that have great meaning for us.

In a monthly bulletin for a mission station the writer draws our attention to the central theme of the Christmas season which is simply the love of God for us, for me. We have heard this countless times, sounds trite and meaningless but is it not that it has never passed from the head to the heart? For one reason or another we are not receptive of this love  for we are busy with many other interests and preferences. God and his love is forgotten.

Love that we acknowledge and accept makes us lovable. This in turn requires a response from the loved one. This is the Christmas message. The whole world seems to be having a nervous breakdown and Korea with our recent history is a good example of how upsetting the situation can be.

Material goods and power for their own sake is a priority;  it contaminates so much of our society. Millions have gone to the streets of the country to show solidarity and wanting to see a new beginning. Candles held in the hand, wanting to overcome the darkness-another visual aid.  Many citizens are  willing to take time out of their daily lives to show the importance of this united act of solidarity.

As Christians we know that Jesus comes to us in disguise. He speaks to our hearts to our heads to our consciences comes to us in the person of others in the Scriptures and in the Church but it is not always easy to see, but the central message of love is loud and clear.

The message is always the same to love as he did. but we are often deaf.  Often we understand Christmas as a time of gift giving, and sharing, all good, and forget that God's love was to give himself. To give of what we possess is not that difficult, to give of ourselves is an entirely different state of affairs. And yet this is central and far from ambiguous. However, it does require faith. Merry Christmas.

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