Thoughts of Christ AT Christmas time
by Pat Miron
From my friend Marianne “As C. S. Lewis said “In Himself, God needs nothing from us.” so everything He asks us to do out of obedience to Him is ultimately for our benefit.”
I endeavor to stay connected with Christ every day and with God’s help usually manage to do so in a variety of ways. But this time of year is for me, often a time of more in-depth reflection. So I’ll share with you what’s been on my mind of late.
I am, as are many others, in Awe of the Incarnation, Christ Birth and the Epiphany.
What motivated GOD; the First Cause of everything good to become one of His Created things? Not only is God the Creator; but also the Sustainer of all life, and He choose to become “less than the Angels” for us; a mortal man, while He was Still God. Heb. 2:7 WOW!
Still, God becoming man does make a degree of sense, knowing all that God permits us to know and understand. Yet for me at least, it become much more complex, much more complicated and compelling. To “become a “man” is one thing; but for GOD to come into our midst as a tiny, helpless, defenseless baby; totally dependent on mortal beings; on Mary and Joseph is for me; a mind boggling reality. Sure He IS the “Son of God.” but then I remember why he came, and what he freely choose to do for us in His later life.
Not only does this birth as an Helpless-Infant reflect a level of love and commitment, seemingly unjustified and unbecoming of God; [even knowing it was Prophesied many hundreds of years before it took place], it demanded a puzzling and seemingly unwarranted level of trust by God, in His humanity which had already failed Him numerous times. After all the experience of Adam and Eve and their prodigy left much to be desired in their failed expectations of what God had every right to demand of them. Should [not could], mortals be entrusted with God Himself? The Extreme Humility of our God is as strikingly evident to me as is His love. Why is God so insistent on have a “Personal relationship” with humanity; with ME?
God’s giving keeps getting more and more personal; and more and more intense, and more and more mystifying to me. WHY? what’s in it for God? And then it occurs to me; maybe nothing? Maybe everything? Why the Passion and Death? Why the Resurrection? Personally, after contemplating His Birth and the conditions surrounding it; these later acts are not a shocking surprise me. But WHY? What’s “the end game?”
Like many of you, I truly enjoy reading the bible. No matter how many times I read it; each time is like a “first-time.” Each time I learn more and seem to understand less. Not too long ago I came across a passage in
Isaiah the Prophet who foretold much about Christ Birth. [Isaiah 7:14] for example. And in the process uncovered this gem: in Isaiah 43 Verses 7 and 21: “every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” AND the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” WOW! There it is; there is the answer to why God is so intent on having a Personal relationship with Me; with us. How Blessed we are [or can be.]
But I’m still unable to comprehend the depth of God’s commitment; love and fervent desire to be united with Me; with us. Thanks to God’s Grace and the Teaching of our Magisterium, I’m able to discern the difference between Christ role for our Redemption; which once again makes Heaven a Possibility; and the separate role of Christ in our Conditional Salvation which depends on both US, and Christ. Baptism, Forgiveness of our sins through the Sacrament of Confession; True Faith though His Grace and Dying in the Sate of Grace and always on our charity are all necessary conditions to be met.
By this point I’m starting to feel a bit better about my own understanding of my relationship with God. Then, it occurs to me that I still don’t really have a full understanding of this mystery. Christ became a man, as a tiny helpless baby to show that despite humanities [and my own] “track record”, God was not going to give up on us. It seems that we are not so much “an experiment” as we are a “test.” Not a test for God; as much as a test “BY God,” and a test to our own logic, our own Faith, our own ability and willingness to become like God; and to freely “Take up our Crosses and actually Follow Him.” Luke 14:7.
So It seems while I have gained some degree of understanding; its still incomplete. Why did God do each of these amazing things for our sake? WHY God became man , even a tiny baby, I can now begin to understand. Why Christ freely choose to Suffer Grossly, to even Die and Rise from the Dead, seems to provides evidence that life’s lesson is for us to “Follow The Leader.”
We too can choose to follow Christ, even in death and into New Life, which makes some degree of sense in light of WHY God Created us in the first place. In-Order that we could freely choose to know, love, obey and serve Him fully as He Himself commands.
I think I’m making progress when another “Why” pops up. The Eucharist; the GREATEST evidence of God’s Love and desire to be in a “Personal Relationship” with me, and with ALL whom He has called to His Catholic Church is intimately tied to His Birth, and His Death and Resurrection. Who but God could even imagine such intimacy? God and man untied is such a manner? Who but a God who willed to become a defenseless tiny baby, would conceive of becoming for US; an “inanimate object” to our senses; and the very LIFE of our Souls? To be at the “beck and call” of countless “men.” Hidden at times is places unworthy of a servant; or a slave, and calling all to His Banquet of Love. Waiting; just waiting for us to visit Him; to attend the RE-Presentation of His Last Supper and to enter worthily INTO the Sacramental “Meal” and the Means of our Salvation. To become One with us as we become One with Him.
Then one final question comes to mind:
Which is the greater Sacrifice; the greater risk and evidence of the Greatest Love? Christ becoming Incarnate as a tiny baby; or Christ/ God becoming our “Holy Communion.”? The “End Game” for us is to merit Heaven.
Now I understand more. Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me through this process.