Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas All Through the Year

Detail from Ethiopian icon
Although the great feasts of the Christmas season culminated this past weekend, some of us will keep our lights burning through the rest of the month until February 2. Thus the glow of our Christmas cheer will continue to brighten the often gray wintry days and the long cold nights of January.

Ultimately, however, "Christmas" indicates a fact that shapes all of our days and all of our years: God has come into the world.

From Bethlehem to the Jordan, we have celebrated in these recent weeks God's "opening up of himself," his giving of himself to us. He who is the Mystery that every human person seeks, who is on "the other side" of the More that every person pleads for in front of reality: he has done something beyond all of our dreams and our myths and our philosophy and our striving. He himself--the Infinite Mystery--has come into our reality, into actual human flesh and blood.

God is with us. He had made his dwelling among us and remains with us. He has intervened directly and totally in the story of the human race. God himself dwells among us, in the midst of our human weakness, our self-indulgence, our cruelty, barbarism, blindness, idolatry, and willful ignorance of his compassion and love.

God has given everything; he has poured himself out in love, and in so doing he manifests his ineffable glory, for God is Love. The fullness of the revelation of God is in this love that overcomes sin, that embraces us and saves us, redeems us and heals us. The Infinite Mystery is Infinite Mercy.

And Divine mercy has a human face and a name: Jesus.