Dear Family Church,
Expected celebration of the real meaning of Christmas, church family members and guests. Who would have “thunk it”? Church family, very unlikely, surprisingly way out of the ordinary, people of God would have been aware of the great miracle to come in very ordinary, simple, poverty-related way of God entering into our human society. We await this great miracle especially with the help of Saint Luke, Saint Matthew and the prophets. We see from the history that our God pierces the human world and the human family in unlikely but all the more miraculous ways. Who would have “thunk it” that our God would come as a human being in very poverty-stricken ways that are precariously dangerous for survival.
We hear the Prophet Micah saying, “You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah.” Too small to matter, that’s what the Prophet Micah proclaimed about Bethlehem. Elizabeth, too old to bare children. Too insignificant a person like Mary who is too young to be on the radar screen of something so miraculously happening. The Messiah, the great one will come in such an insignificant, unnoticed way. As we see from the Prophets Luke and Matthew, God arrives the least of the least, becoming the most of the most. Alleluia! That’s what we reflect on and it’s good to feel proud about insignificant things about people and their roles coming out of poverty and ordinariness.
Once King David had come and gone Bethlehem again slipped into obscurity. Once Elizabeth became a senior citizen still childless, she earned the barren woman’s customary cultural disgrace. Again, Mary, too young and too poor to warrant any special notice. These unborn babies John the Baptist, Jesus and Ho-hum’ years later the Jewish leaders would say, “Could anything good come out of Bethlehem, out of Nazareth? “How could they make the final cut” as we say in the sports arena? I love the account of Mary’s visit to her aging but pregnant cousin Elizabeth. I can only imagine two pregnant women awaiting joyfully and expectantly the birth of their children, knowing something very miraculously is going to happen. Their two insignificant children will change the world. Again we await in awe as we look forward to Jesus’ coming. Historically this helps us to allow Jesus to come into our hearts. He has come into our hearts as we celebrated the Sacrament of Anointing, being cleansed and healed and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, being made whole again, and the Sacrament of Communion, once again Jesus within our total self. Church, you are on the right road. The Ho-hum’ insignificant backwoods road, may be barely a pass, but you are on it and it leads to our God becoming one of us. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob