THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
December 16-22, 2018
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF Director
Many wondered if John the Baptist was the Christ, because he preached repentance and justice. John, a humble man, quickly disabuses his audience of this notion. He says, “…I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. …exhorting them in many ways, he preached good news to the people.” Luke 3: 10-18 You wonder, if the people remembered John’s prophesy, when Jesus came on the scene. He certainly tried to direct them to follow Jesus, but often people are slow to get the message.
Thus, during Advent season, we are directed to heed John’s voice. “Repent and make straight the way of the Lord.” Mark 1:3 We have another week and a few days to set our lives straight for the celebration of a most unusual birth. This opportunity is available to us each day. We can choose to right our relationships and bring good news into other’s lives, or we can remain grumpy, self-centered people. Whatever our faith-belief, there is a Supreme Being who is greater than ourselves and deserves our honor and recognition. We, as Christians, see this Being in the gift of a small child who is the mighty savior, the Son of God. What a mystery – so complex, yet so simple.
Only God could have thought up the idea of coming himself as one of us to show us what it means to be a human person – a human according to his image of love, compassion, forgiveness and salvation. We are each invited again to be born in this image at Christmas time. We can make God known and present in this world through our actions.
Other revelations come to light in the birth of this unusual child. Though the Jews had waited over four thousand years for the birth of the Christ, their overall image was that of an earthly ruler who would free them from their oppressors, in this case the Romans, a strong military leader and a legitimate king on the throne which Herod usurped. Jesus was to be fulfill none of these roles. To be a king, for sure, but not of this world. The events around his birth pointed to a savior who was for all peoples – the foreigners in form of Magi from the East, the poor, outcast Jewish shepherds, the ordinary neighbors of the area, the location in the humble city of David (Was not Jesus of this house and therefore a descendent of royalty?) the absence of the wealthy Herod and his court, the absence of the Jewish leaders of the people and the absence of the Roman military. Even the heavens were present both in the form of an earthly star and a celestial choir of angels. Animals were present and even the straw from the fields and a handmade crib. At his birth he lay in a wooden crib; at his death he lay on a wooden cross. Oh, blessed tree of life
As we ponder this event, perhaps other revelations will come to mind, such as the meaning of the gifts of the Magi – gold, frankincense and myrrh.
May your celebrations during this winter season be ones of joy, peace and love. May you and yours be blessed with good health and happiness. May God bless each of you with what you most need. Merry Christmas.
See you in the New Year. Happy, happy New Year, blessed by God.
Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director