Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Mt 1:1-25 From Metaphors and Toys to Flesh and Blood

The Nativity of the Lord 2014
Midnight Mass
(Click here for readings)

By Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.  When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit....  All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,' which means 'God is with us.' 

Do you realize what just happened?  God became like one of us so that He could be with us!  In other words (and this is important):  God does not want to avoid us. 

This is a miracle! 

I, for one, will admit that when I see a person I don't want to see walking down the hallway, I will do everything possible to avoid that person.  I'll turn my head.  I'll put my head down.  I'll stop dead in my tracks and go in a different direction.  I'll take a few steps back and tippy-toe my way out of the way.

Not God.  Today, God did the complete opposite.  He took one giant leap of love and got right into our mess!

I'm a mess!  You're a mess!  We're all a mess!  Why in heaven would the Son of God come to earth for us?  Because He knows how to love.  Do you?

Old Testament metaphors.  The Old Testament is full of wonderful metaphors.  Some examples are: "The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea..." (Is 23:11); "O Eternal One, lend an ear to my prayer and answer me, for I am weak and wanting." (Ps 86:1) 

Throughout the Old Testament, sacred writers give God a mouth (Num. 12:8), a heart (Hos. 11:8), feet (Gen. 3:8) and human emotions like jealousy. (Ex. 20:5).

Yet we all know that God is pure Spirit, right?

YES!  But not today.

Today, everything changes. 
Today, God becomes one of us: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." (Jn 1:14). 
Today, the metaphors took on flesh and blood.  They have become real in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Has the Holy Spirit took on flesh and blood in you?

Toys and Christmas.  When we were kids we loved to play with toys.  Some kids played with airplanes and pretended to be pilots.  Others played with dolls and pretended to be mothers or fathers.  Still others played with stuffed animals and pretended to be  veterinarians or chefs.  

Reflecting on today's Gospel passage, I never realized how important toys are towards our psychological development.  Toys serve an important purpose:  they inspire us. 

Today, we must go back to the playroom.  We must go back to playing children's games, reading children's stories, and playing a child in adult roles.  Why?  Because we must grow up!  We must make these important people real, flesh and blood.   

This afternoon, our kids from the parish put on their annual Christmas Pageant.  It was stunningly beautiful!  Our kids played the roles of Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Kings, angels and baby Jesus.  With the exception of baby Jesus and a few animals, the kids played the role of grown ups, and we should all know that playing a grown up plays an important part in growing up!

When we were toddlers we heard the Christmas story. In elementary school, we read it and played a part in it.  Now, as adults, we must live the part! 

Christ is calling us to be a Mary - to say yes to God and to the impossible; to be a Joseph - to follow the better angels of our nature, regardless of what others may think; to be an angel - to speak highly of others and lovingly towards others; to be a shepherd - to lead others to Christ; to be a King - to be at the service of the poor and weak. 

Christ is even calling us to be a star - to bring light to those who live in utter darkness; a manger - to help others relax and feel comfortable; to be a stable - to protect those around us.

A pumpkin turning into a carriage is nothing compared to God turning into a babe!

Not only does God love to make something out of nothing, but to take that little something and turn it into something special. 

Do you realize what just happened today?  What God did today is more than real.  It is meaningful and challenging. The Lord is inviting all of us to be another Christ, to take the baby Jesus figurine and transform it into flesh and bones.   Be another Jesus! 

Christ's birth is a challenge He makes to all of us:  When you were young you played the part.  Now live the part!

Share the gift of Christ to others.  Share his love the way he did:  unconditionally.  Don't wait for the world to change.  Give generously for no good reason, for something good may happen.  This is what Christ bet on.  He bet on it with His life.  And the fact that we are here in His name means He was right!

A pumpkin turning into a carriage is nothing compared to what we can turn into with Jesus Christ.  But like Cinderella, we have only a certain amount of time (till midnight) to make it happen!


1 comment:

  1. Great meditation fr. Alfonse. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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