Study: Consider your life. Are there any parts that are wounded?
Pray: Invite the infant Jesus into the humble stable of your heart. He is familiar with simple surroundings; nothing you have is too poor, and everything you offer will be warmly received.
Serve: Is there some way you can be a bridge that unites others this Christmas? Some way that you can unite, heal, or help?
The Readings of Christmas:
Midnight Mass Podcast from the Cathedral – 95 Minutes
Fr. Andrew’s Christmas Homily Podcast
The birth of the Lord celebrates a great mystery: God takes on our human form in the person of Jesus. Fully human and fully divine, the Son of God and the Son of Mary – Jesus comes into our world with a mix of what seems like incompatible qualities:
- Born into poverty, yet bequeathed gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
- Greeted by working class shepherds, but sung to by a heavenly host of angels
- Followed by violence from King Herod, yet guided by the angel Gabriel
- Limited by human weakness, yet free from sin
Why are these extremes so great? Why do we see in Jesus both the lowliness of our human limits and the heights of God’s glory? To put it simply, Jesus Christ is the bridge between heaven and earth.
Think about it. Because of sin we have been divided from God and one another. Isolated by fear, temptation, weakness, sin and lies, we often find ourselves cut off from the Lord and at odds with those around us. While the media is filled with examples of this division, we really only have to look into our own hearts to find the struggle that is part of the human condition.
And this is why Christ was born – to restore our relationships and unite us with a strength that is greater than anything we can do on our own. Born like us, he enters our world so that we can know God; as the the Son of his Heavenly Father he will one day destroy the power of sin and death when he carries his Cross to die and rise that we might have eternal life.
Jesus forms the bridge that allows us to span the void caused by our sins. He offers mercy and forgiveness to reconcile our hearts to God, and through this forgiveness our relationships on earth are renewed. We are united; we are connected; we are graced with divine love, peace, and joy.
Where are the gaps in your heart this Christmas? Where do you see the need for Jesus Christ to restore what was broken or wounded? Draw strength from the one who knows exactly what it feels like (he is fully human after all) and yet has the grace to make it whole (which comes from his power as the Son of God.)
And may this Christmas bring healing and hope to your heart! Merry Christmas, my friends!
The Adoration of the Shepherds, Gerard van Honthorst, 1622, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany.