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……the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel
To you shall come Emmanuel
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”- Enya
This calendar year, it is literally a week to Christmas Day. The world that St. Benedict admonishes us to be “of” but not “in” spins in its secularism with buying, selling, traveling, sports of all sorts, parties, tailgating, “winter” pageants, everything …at the surface. It is as if the world we are “in” but not “of” is more than ever determined to simply ignore the reason we are all here, that we have a God-ordained purpose, a meaning, desires, longing, personal cries of help to the Lord, not unlike those that Isaiah faced as Israel tried to find its freedom from bondage.
Isaiah, and the other prophets, knew and saw what was ahead. It was a revolution that did not forming an army to fight a physical enemy. It was calling on our God-given talents to serve The Lord who was, and is, to come and save us all.
We heard this message, basically, in the readings for the Second Sunday. All sorts of wondrous acts are to take place, with a little child leading them, and us. He will know our needs. He will save us from sin, from our fear, from our doubts, from our tears, from all that is dark. He is the Light of the World.
Mary and Joseph have their path ahead this week. We have ours. We are living it with them, through salvation history. It is part of God’s promise, and no secular temptation is as fulfilling as knowing God loves us, and sent His only begotten son to be among us … not in some castle, not in a mansion, not in a place overflowing with temptations and excess.
No…He comes for us in our basic selves. We have to peel away the worldly. We have to put on Christ, in the cold, in a stable, a setting that could be considered undignified, but is perfect. We must be reborn in so little, so that, with the eternal joy that God sends us through the infant in the stable, we are richer than anything this world can provide.
Lord Jesus … seven days, and counting to your Light in this world!