Monday, December 25, 2006

Son of God and Son of Man

Hebrews 1:1-6 "... God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him."

The Second Reading of Christmas Mass During the Day really struck me this year. It opened another window for me and shed additional light on what I understood of Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas Message which I had listened to earlier in the morning.

Being five hours "behind" Rome at this time of year, this morning's first input after the wake-up call from a little yellow bird on the powerline outside my window was, in fact, the Holy Father's Message before the Blessing Urbi et Orbi at noon Rome time. Jesus as Savior was at the heart of his message addressed to a world I too find almost unteachable by reason of its achievements while at the same time clearly helpless to resolve its elementary problems and deficiencies. The world around us is anything but life and light, caught in a "hammer-lock" by darkness and almost without hope to free itself from the grip of the enemy.

"Jesus is the Answer", as a catch phrase, deserves to be relegated to billboards and bumperstickers but the holy day which has dawned upon us and the great light which has come upon the earth not. Fullness, adequacy and more, the saving power of our God are manifest today from end to end as God speaks to us through his Son: "...the radiant light of God's glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command..."! Hail, Infant King!

Which way to turn and how to turn to the Word "...the true light that enlightens all men..."? How do you lift the chin of that young man, plugged into his ear buds or stuped in front of his monitor? How to get that young lady's attention, head and heart all abuzz, glances going every which way wondering who may be looking, but focusing on no one? How to unlock age's chains of addiction or bitterness? How to renew the peace within us? How do we go about bowing under His mighty hand? How to cast our cares on the Lord, such that He will care for us and we can see Him bare His mighty arm to save us?

How indeed? "... and he shall be called Wonderful-Counsellor." Who? Well, the baby born in Bethlehem, of course! Life is too virtual, too image-bound and sterile: we need to get back into time and into the mix, so to speak. Hail, Infant King! I'm enjoying the many short messages per telephone or per e-mail with which folks touch base, express joy, put the order of human relations and family back "on the front burner" and with admonitions to watch the sweets and overall intake of food and drink. Though immediacy cannot solve all of the interpersonal problems we may face in life, keeping the world at arm's length solves absolutely none.

What did the shepherds understand from the message of the angels on that night? When did the science of the astrologers' sighting of a new star cross over and catch them up in the love of the God they could not see? Hail, Infant King!

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