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You Have One Message Waiting…. :Weekly Message for 12-25-2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
You may be reading this well after the 25th, and I’m sure my Inbox is going to be flooded with Out of Office replies as soon as it goes out, but above all I, and everyone at RCSpirituality, want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Whether you have a few days off for Christmas or a few weeks, this is moment to disconnect and truly reconnect to what’s really important: Our Lord, our family, and our friends.
The Gospel for the Mass During the Day of Christmas is the prologue of the Gospel of Saint John. John speaks of the true light, making it the perfect Gospel passage for Christmas: daytime is the brightest moment on Christmas Day. We need spiritual light to grasp the profundity of this day. We need to gaze upon the manger, gaze upon the baby Jesus, and remind ourselves: “this is God, and he’s come to save and love me.” In a cave in Bethlehem, probably in a little hollowed-out part of rock filled with straw, God was born as a baby for me. What does that say about him, and what does that say about me?
The Son of God is also the Word of God. He himself is the Message. All of creation occurred through him and with him in mind, so he is the key to unlocking the meaning of creation itself, including us. He became flesh and dwelt among us because he wanted to communicate something to us – personally and profoundly. It was unexpected and, to many, unobserved, but, starting with the Holy Family, those who received him in faith gained the ability to become children of God. We gaze today upon the baby Jesus in a manger and see the Word whom God the Father had in mind when he created the whole world. The baby Jesus is the key that unlocks the meaning of our existence here on earth; and even in a manger the Word is communicating to us without so much as a peep.
In the game “telephone” people line up, then the first person whispers a word exactly once into the ear of the person next to him. The second person whispers it only once to the third, and so on. The last person who hears the word says it out loud to show how much it was distorted in whispering it from person to person, intentionally or unintentionally.
Humanity, due to the Fall, became like a terrible game of “telephone”: the message of who God was and, consequently, who we were was distorted by sin, with no way to truly find out what God had said in the first place. With the coming of the Word the original Message snaps back into clarity forever, with no risk of distortion. He takes up humanity to show us how to be human again.
With Christmas, the baby Jesus comes to Nativity Scenes everywhere, including our homes (and if you don’t have one, ignore the rest of this message and go get one on close-out as soon as the stores open…). Why not spend some time daily this week in silence before the manger? Let your imagination take you back to the Holy Night at Bethlehem. Imagine what it was like for Mary, for Joseph, for Jesus himself. The Holy Family suffered hardship that night, but they also enjoyed a deep joy. That apparent contradiction is a wonderful opportunity for us to gain a deeper understanding of faith and what God brings into our lives in Person.
There’s a Message waiting for you in the manger. It’s a keeper. Read it often.
May the newborn Word speak to you this Christmas season.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.