- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 6, 2017

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

Christmas Weekday
1 John 5: 5-13; Mark 1: 7-11

With the celebrations of Epiphany and The Baptism of the Lord on the horizon, it might be good for us to ponder what exactly we have been celebrating throughout the Christmas season. We tend to get all caught up in meals, gifts and greeting card that we overlook the fact that God so loved the world that he sent us His Beloved Son. This Son was the Word through Whom everything was created. This Son was the Word Made Flesh through Whom the world was recreated. He was one with the Father for all eternity and He chose to be born in time to be one with us. The Light of the World has, in fact, shone on the people who lived in darkness.

The Christmas Season tells us that God is a promise keeper. At the dawn of creation, when darkness had worked its way into the human heart, God made a promise. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers” (Gen. 3:15). It takes time for eternal plans to unfold. When the People of Israel were in deepest darkness and beyond hope, God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah. “The Lord Himself will give you a sign. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). Then, in the cold of winter, when the night was half spent, the almighty Word leaped down from heaven and entered human history. The Angel Choir spoke to the shepherds: “This is the sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2:12). As an adult, the Lamb of God presented Himself to be baptized by John at the Jordan. As He came up from the washing (CF. Song 4: 2), water dripping from His hair and His body glistening in the sunlight, the Father confirmed all that He had promised: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mk. 1:11).

Throughout this sacred time, we have been celebrating the fidelity of God presented to us in the form of a frail and vulnerable infant. Gazing upon the child of Mary, we hear the invitation to become frail and vulnerable ourselves that He, the Lord of Life, might manifest His power and majesty in us. Just think of it. For Jesus, we do not have to be strong, we only have to be needy! Perhaps this is the lesson Jesus wanted to teach us when He said, “Learn from Me for I am humble and gentle of heart” (Mat. 11:29).