We all know what it is to look and not see, to hear but not listen. When it comes to what the past season has to say, and point us to we must take the plugs of fear and complacency from our ears, and remove the blinders from our eyes. We must become keener listeners, and ever deeper seekers. Why? Because, otherwise the fact that God became a human being will be just another birth. Another ordinary birth with no special meaning, just another ho hum event, in the history of our world. We who believe come to know and understand there is mystery in The Birth. We come to accept the reality of the seeming harsh words of Meister Eckhert "What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in our hearts". With each and every Advent/ Christmas/ Epiphany celebration, we allow the meaning to seep deeper and deeper into our hearts, souls, and minds. If not? Why Jesus just wasted His time and efforts. We do not obey our Father when he says to us "This is my beloved Son, LISTEN to Him". Do we look and listen, or are we afraid to see the real truth, hear the real message, and be converted on and on going to a deeper level? With conversion comes a new and more dangerous way of living. We enter the living of a life that offers no security, no certainty, only a life that is lived and journeyed on, in dark faith. We will make the words of Thomas Merton our own, "God I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I do not know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know myself". All we can hang on to is by our Baptism we are mysteriously called, blessed, and uniquely gifted for journey. We are in the words of the Gospel, "The beloved" in whom our God is well pleased. It does say was, or will be, the word is, IS well pleased. Here and now our God takes great delight in our reality. A reality as God sees it not the way we, see it. The more we claim our belovedness, and live our lives accordingly, we will have life and have it to the fullest. We will slowly come to know there is never anything missing from a life that is lived in the mystery, and the sacredness of the present moment. We have that awe-full freedom to live in the freedom of the beloved, or live out our lives in fear, guilt, and shame. WE live our lives as victims of "the toxic trinity" rather than to live our lives in the wholeness, the holiness of The Holy Trinity. This a decision you and I make every second, every moment we live.
Jesus to my way of thinking is not the reason for this past season…..we are. If we say Jesus is the reason, and not us, we will never be free to hear, see, and listen to what The Infant has to say. His birth says to you and I, I reveal myself to you in the place you least expect to find me, and in ways beyond your imagination. The Vulnerable Child says to us, I am to be found in the powerless, the place of powerlessness. It is to those who are nothing in the eyes of the world, it is those who I have set, my eyes and heart on. It is much easier to keep that Child as as infant rather that allow Him to grow up, and become the crucified One. The one that is broken, bruised, and beaten out of love for us. From the cross He speaks to us, you want power? Accept a powerlessness like mine. You want property, I offer you a share of all that is mine, emptiness, abandonment, desolation is all I have to share with you. When you come to know and accept what appears to be a void you will discover a treasure beyond your wildest dreams.
Jesus says to us, it for you I came. I came to reveal what is really real, and what has lasting value. The world hated me, even wanted to kill me as a child, so it wants to kill the innocence within you. My life was spent in the outreach to those who were the outcasts, and I joined them as an outcast. Can you do this for me? Now we really want the Infant to be the reason for the season, this message is so hard, and too difficult to respond to. Lately, I have been wondering what would happen if on Christmas when we entered the church we saw not the Crucified Christ, but Infant Jesus on the cross? Are we ready for such a radical statement? Yet is not that what we do each time we persecute ourselves, and then of necessity one another? This killing will stop when we listen truly to what The infant wants to say to us. we will then become life givers, and not death dealers. We will be able to continue to be, not only the voice, but the very presence in action of Him, who has called from eternity, to be who we really are.