Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas: a world of justice, love, and peace

Christmas Day

Midnight mass

Luke 2:1-14

Words cannot express the profound effect of this humble night, unknown to the powerful, but revealed to the lowly shepherds; on how the whole world that was supposed to tremble on the coming of God, silence and peace overpowered it, with the Child born in the vilest of all places - a manger reserved only for animals; a place only the shepherds know what it is for.

But let us learn from the story of the humble birth of the Son of God and what it means to us who wish to be one with him:

First, he wishes to save his suffering people, not inflict judgment on them.  He is the Wonder-Counselor Isaiah was talking about in the First Reading; the source of peace that comes from good counsel.  He truly touches our hearts and enlightens our minds by his loving presence.

Second, his path is abject poverty, not wealth or power.  Why?  Simply because we have placed our brothers and sisters in a state of abject poverty caused by our selfishness and greed.  We thought power and wealth could make us live, but we contribute to to death and suffering.  Christ chose to stay with the lowliest of his people, so we may find ourselves devoting our lives to help, assist, comfort, and free them.  This becomes our vocation or calling in this life.

Third, he chooses the path of peace to change the world.  The option to take the path of active non-violence is so compelling that we are led to it to reach out to others, to uphold justice and speak against death and corruption, to turn weapons of violence into tools for farming and abundance; and to change the hearts of our children towards God.

It is probably ineffable at this point to actually describe the depth of Christmas; nevertheless, stay close to the manger where the poor Child lays, and the new world will open - a world of justice, love, and peace.

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