We don’t learn about the mystery of Christmas in a day. That’s why we have Advent and the whole Christmas season. We learn the mystery of Christmas, and other mysteries of our faith, gradually.
The church begins reading from St. Luke’s Infancy account December 17th. St.Luke takes us to the temple of Jerusalem, where you expect to hear God’s voice. An angel announces to Zechariah the priest that he and his wife Elizabeth will have a son, John the Baptist. “We’re too old,” Zechariah says, and he’s struck dumb in his unbelief.
The next day Luke takes us to Nazareth, hardly a place to expect God to speak, but there Mary fully believes in a mystery far more difficult to accept than two old people having a child. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,” the angel says too her.
“and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.”
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord,” Mary answers, “Be it done to me according to your word.”
Mary goes “in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Luke’s gospel continues. She goes, not panicked by fear, but filled with joy because she believes that “nothing is impossible with God.” Mary is a powerful voice in the Christmas story and in all the mysteries of our faith.
On Christmas we read St. Luke’s account of Christ’s birth. Notice how humbly he comes into our world. “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.” The powerful seem to dominate his world. Joseph must bring his pregnant wife to Bethlehem, where she gives birth to Jesus, “laying him in a manger, because there is no room in the inn.” Jesus comes unknown.
This is God’s Son. True God from true God, Jesus begins a long humbling experience. How else can we explain his life? He shares our humanity, even its suffering and death. As an infant he narrowly escapes death when King Herod slaughters young children in Bethlehem. He joins those exiled from their own country seeking safety in another, He lives almost thirty years in a small obscure town in northern Palestine, unknown. He takes to himself our humanity.
Even as he begins his public ministry of teaching and does marvelous things, he’s rejected, called a menace to society, crucified, but then rises from the dead. He saves humanity in all its life and death.
The Mystery of Christmas is the first great reminder of the way God is present, dwelling among us. We ask for Mary’s faith, who believes “nothing is impossible with God.” “What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul. What wondrous love is this.”
Merry Christmas, Father Victor. Prayers and blessings to you this Christmas. May we wander less and wonder more before our newborn Savior!
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“Wander less and wonder more.” Good advice. Merry Christmas
Dear Father Victor, MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you for keeping the torch of learning and wisdom burning bright. Thank you for your posts that continue to inspire me and awaken me to God’s love and mercy. Fabienne
In haste but filled with joy Mary went to Elizabeth.
Thanks to you and your community for sharing the inspiring posts here.
Happy are the hands on keyboards sending out the Good News.
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Merry Christmas to you fdan and a blessed New Year. FVictor
Merry Christmas, Cenaclemary. A Blessed New Year. FV