Christmas

  So, now, at this moment, let us celebrate the Christian Mass. Face the stations of the Cross with the deepest reverence. Remember the Blessed Virgin, not God her self, but the faithful doorway to God’s most intimate intervention in human history.

   Evoke the Holy Symbols of our Heavenly Father with humility. Humility first produces hearing. Humity stops the mouth. The humble one is slow to speak and quick to hear. Stop and hear, humbly.

   Follow the tracks of Christian Mass Past across the frozen tundra of your own heart. What makes this moment special? Why do you long for it all year long? Is it the presence of your family, or of the Holy Family? They have so little but they are together. The are together for so brief a time but all the time they are together they are part of something greater than themselves, for Mary and Joseph, and something equally noteworthy to the Baby.

  Experience the cooperation of the Magi, the Shepherds and the Holy Family. No less likely coupling ever came together to form a religious body. Perhaps the declining denominations of our day would be well served to meet around the Baby’s presence in the world.

   Look at the star. You cannot take your eyes from it. Surely, others noticed it, not just the Persian astronomers. How can it guide them on their blessed caravan but escape the notice of all others? Is it because no one else thinks to look to Heaven for what God would do on earth?

   Consider the mystery. None of it makes sense.

   In a rock musical called "Jesus Christ, Superstar," Andrew Lloyd Weber has Judas ask why Jesus would come to such a secluded place in such a primitive time as Israel in 4 BCE. Poor God, He is damned if he does not come quickly enough and then damned for coming before cell phones. Still, He seemed to do alright for one foolish enough to choose Jews and love barbarians.

   No, it is not logical. An older unfather, a Virgin Mother, no room any where, the whole thing set forth by God but finished by a Roman decree, with a feed trough for a cradle. What an explanation for a pregnancy! Few would have bought it then, so God sent the Holy Family to Egypt for awhile. When God brought them (nearly) to home again, I wonder if anyone thought much about how God was always bringing good things out of Egypt?

   Christmas. Illogical, sentimental, contradictory images fly thick and fast from Bethlehem to Cairo and back to Nazareth. Think of it today.

"Oh, God, who makes no sense to us,

Who governs without our touch,

Who expresses love among the ruins

of an entire race of sinners,

hear our prayer this day.

Do whatever you can in our experience

that we can see, describe, but not explain,

except to say, ‘God did that.’

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