Monday, December 23, 2013

For Us

“Now this is how the birth of Jesus took place…” These few words always sound so promising each Christmas, almost like “once upon a time…” But as the story unfolds, it’s more like a fractured fairy tale, not at all picture perfect, no matter how beautifully all our Christmas cards may portray it. There’s Mary’s unexplained pregnancy, Joseph’s dream, Herod's rage and on and on… Not ideal but real, like Jesus’ life, like our lives. There's ample room in such story, in a life like that for love freely offered and thoughtlessly rejected, for ecstatic joy and unbearable painAnd this is after all how the birth of Jesus takes place for us, in us. Jesus seeks a place in our lives. He becomes through Mary bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He does not, never ever, disdain what is fully human about us. Indeed we can find him there hidden in the deep recesses of all our human experiences, longing to accompany us. This is after all why the birth of Jesus took place: because God is for us.

Column capital by Gislebertus of Autun.