Posts Tagged ‘Sister Jane’

Christmas Magazine Article

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

God shows his love for us by taking a vast risk, and

each Christmas we are jolted into looking at it afresh

Sister Jane, Sisters of the Love of God

The Christian message is that God takes a risk with us. In Jesus he comes to us as a helpless baby who then has to flee as a refugee to Egypt. As an adult, he risks rejection which ends in his degrading and painful crucifixion. He continues to come today in our prayer, in our reflecting upon the Bible and in our breaking of bread. How do we respond in welcome to him today?

 

How we welcome God, the ground of our being, is reflected in how we welcome the stranger, the naked, or the imprisoned. Our welcome of God is not primarily about intellectually engaging with philosophy or emotionally engaging with the nativity story. It’s about practically engaging with our neighbour in their place of need. God takes a risk with us and in turn we are called to take a risk with our fellow man, woman and child; with those who are created in his image. The stranger, almost by definition, can make us feel awkward. But every time we ignore the stranger we reject an encounter with God.

 

It’s not that we set out to ignore God or our neighbour. It’s just that our lives can become too busy and, in our rush, we can make snap or harsh judgements. Pope Benedict XVI, in reflecting upon the Christmas message of God among us, lamented that we can fail to respond to God, especially as he is revealed in our neighbour. He asks, “Do we have time and space for God? Can he enter our lives? Does he find room in us, or have we occupied all the available space in our thoughts, our actions, our lives for ourselves?” Placing ourselves ahead of our neighbours and ahead of God can leave us materially rich but socially poor. Taking a risk for someone created in God’s image is living out the Christmas message.

 

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a joyful New Year.

 

Paul