This Christmas we find ourselves reflecting more deeply on God’s love for all of humanity. Last week Father Akizou in his first Christmas homily reminded us of God’s love for us. In my own spiritual reading and reflection of the ”Divine Intimacy” the theme of God’s love was stressed daily in the reflections offered .
Out of love for humanity God took on our nature. He became one with His creation. The words of the Evangelist proclaim this truth of God’s love for all people.
John 3:15b .”so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”16For God so loved the world that he gave* his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
It is in God’s giving that we see God’s greatest gift of love. For God is love, and this love was from the beginning the love of the Father and Son in the Holy Spirit. In this weeks celebration the manifestation of that divine love is extended to all humans. All peoples of all races and nations is extended this love. Although unknown to it recipients , wise men from the East, they are searching but for what they encounter they are prepared. The God who is love and comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords is not found in a palace, a place of power but in simplicity and lowliness.
“A child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.”
The Wise Men arriving upon a simple dwelling find the King and Messiah having experienced this love event they share gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. These wise men having been given the gift the God made man, then carry the good news to the world. This gift of God’s love is for the whole world, no borders, no frontiers nor walls shut us out of God’s love. We as church must take what we have received and share it, our lives centered on it. We reach the peripheries and live God’s love amongst them. This living unites those on the margins that they too experience this great gift and eventually share it, and live it.
The love that is received, lived and shared must have an impact on our lives and the lives of those that we encounter. This reflection continues as so often our lives don’t matter to us. We are in turmoil and crisis. The violent rejection of caring for one another through the rejection of vaccines and masks. This selfish and unstrained rejection is clearly opposed to the call to love that our God invites us to as we see the Three Wise Men from the East who encounter Christ and then go and share that love.
Even in the neighborhood of my church we see this rejection of love and disregard for life is rampant. We see so many lives lost on the streets, gun violence and domestic violence. The constant death has got to stop, we need like the Wise Men in the midst of darkness see and follow the light of the start. St. Joseph Parish can be that light that illumines in the midst of the darkest hour in our city. OUR LIVES MUST MATTER TO US! We hear Black Lives Matter, but here our Black Lives don’t mean much to us. As we constantly see ourselves killing ourselves, and doing harm to one another. Enough is enough, we have got to somehow reach youth and young adults that they see their lives as mattering enough not to kill one another. Find and experience love given, lived and shared.