Does your baptism make a difference in your life? Do you live differently and make different choices than you would if you were not baptized? Our baptism connects us to Jesus and to the Church. As such, these relationships should transform every aspect of our lives. Our thoughts, words and actions should be those who have committed their lives to following Jesus wherever that may lead.
Ever wonder what Mary’s favorite title is? While I think being identified as a disciple of her Son is at the top of the list, I suspect the other title that rises to the top is “Mom.” When I think of my own mother, and other women who are mothers, it seems that the best mothers treasure the moment. Mary reflected and treasured these things in her heart. And I suspect she treasured nothing more than those divine experiences that allowed the Holy Spirit to act always through her in her life.
It can be hard to see. I can be difficult to see in the eyes of a mother whose child is ripped from her arms at the border. It can be hard to see in the inmate on death row. It can be hard to see in the homeless man who in spite of having a job cannot afford a place to live. But this Christmas we celebrate God-with-us. And that is indeed Good News.
There is so much darkness in our world. There is the pandemic, economic uncertainty, illness, disease and more. But this Christmas, as always we are reminded that Christ is the light that has overcome the darkness. And we too are called to witness to this light to be signs of faith to others.
God with us. Emmanuel. This last “O Antiphon reminds us very powerfully that God is with us, in the God-man Jesus. While it can appear at times (maybe even long periods of time) that God is absent from us, the truth is God is always with us. As the fully human and fully divine Son of God, Jesus reminds us that God takes on our mortal flesh to lead us to recognize our whole selves, body and soul. The truth is that God could have left us in our sinfulness, which would be an act of justice. But God’s justice is tempered by God’s mercy. And for all of us, this is good news indeed.
Walk through any bookstore or search online for a book by typing in “leadership” and there will be no shortage of materials, books, and more. In so many ways, societies around the world cry out for leadership. In an age of unprecedented crisis, and a growing inability to discuss disagreements without being disagreeable, it is harder and harder to find leadership, or to find the types of leaders people are able to follow. Of course, if we seek solutions in political discourse or in arguments about politics, we will fall short. There is an important place for civil leadership and politics. But if we are seeking to be rescued from our sinfulness, then we need more. Today’s “O antiphon” provides the something more. To be rescued requires the perfect leader, and in Jesus we have such a perfect leader. Of course, he sometimes leads us where we might not wish to go, but he always leads us to good. During these uncertain times, pray that Jesus, as God, might rescue us and save us.