Friday, December 25, 2015

Glory to God in the Highest!

Beautiful thoughts this morning from Loyola Press - they have been sending me devotional readings each morning this Advent; as the CHRISTmas feast is the crown of the Advent season, so these words crown the preceding anticipatory reads. I share then, with thanks and all due respect; from



The Gospel calls us to discover Jesus and those at the peripheries in need.


“For a child has been born for us,
       a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders
       and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6  


The celebration of Christmas is a most beloved holy day. Even though much of the celebration has been overtaken by commercialization, it still brings human consciousness to center on the birth of the child who has changed the world. This was not the case when Jesus was born.

In the time of Jesus’ birth, the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus (reigned 27 BC–14 AD) was seen as a savior and peacemaker. Through military might, he had ended the era of destructive civil wars and subjugated the Mediterranean world.

Jesus’ birth took place at the periphery of the empire, in a small Palestinian town. He was born in a stable, wound up in bands of cloth, and placed in a manger. Luke is actually giving us potent symbols on the meaning of Jesus’ birth. The bands of cloth allude to Jesus’ royal status as King Solomon was also wrapped this way as a baby (Wisdom of Solomon 7:4). The manger is a food bin, and Jesus is presented as the one who will feed the world.

The first to hear about Jesus’ birth are the shepherds. They live on the edge of society, are unable to practice their faith due to their responsibilities, and are uninvited and unwashed. Yet from the angels they hear the news that all humankind was waiting for: the Savior has been born.

So while we celebrate within our family circle, the Gospel also calls us to discover Jesus and mercifully consider those who are most in need—not simply at the center, but at the peripheries.

Pope Francis

“In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate.”
Homily for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, Vatican Basilica, 24 December 2013

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