Still Here After Eighty Two Years – Part Two

Part Two – Christmas Season 2010

In a world whose economies tend to marginalize populations and create subcultures of poor people, where wars are preempted for specious reasons; where race, religion, gender, age and orientation are exclusionary factors in establishing nations, societies and sometimes even religious congregations, the world needs to know that God is near, that God is here in our world now as brother to us all.  The birth of Christ pictured in centuries of artistic imagination now needs to be revealed in the ordinary course of human events.  At our own risk to often we tend to overlook the revelatory quality of “the holy” in the ordinary: situations where we are called to make God’s healing presence an assuaging factor in the sufferings, displacements, hungers and violence so inimical to the justice and peace that every human being – image of God – is entitled to in this world.  Too settled in our ways and often too provincial in our understanding of the common good of all, the incarnation challenges our faith to make God present in our world; to see people not only as others but as brothers and sisters who are suffering indignities unworthy of people created to be the images of god in our place and time.  We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.

As advocates of peace and adversaries of policies and practices that disregard and disrespect the dignity of the human person, even in the questionable claim of national security – being human in the image of Jesus Christ opens our hearts to the plight of our fellow human beings.  In the light of the self-emptying of Jesus, there should be no longer any strangers in our lives, only sisters and brothers.  The responsibility for creating a better world in this 21st century and thereby making human life meaningful and believable has shifted to us.  Daily, by doing what Jesus would do, we identify ourselves as the sisters and brothers of Jesus.  Becoming more human, we become more fully alive.  And we measure the success of these adventures in grace as so many true but minor resurrections.