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Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, Year A – 2022-2023

Many are the texts offered to us during the festive season of the Nativity.
And the figures, or characters, that we meet in the different scenes are also many.

Through all this, one aspect strikes me as very interesting.
It is the fact that so many of the people are… on the move!
People are… displaced, so too speak.

 Mary and Joseph must leave Nazareth to go and register themselves in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-5).
The shepherds leave the place where they watch over their flock to find a new-born child (Luke 2:8-20).
The Magi set on a long journey to find the new king born in a distant land (Matthew 2:1-12).

As I look at them all, I wonder if Christmas is not precisely this: a celebration of… displacement!
A period, a blessed moment, when we accept to be uprooted to reach another place…

Nowadays, many have to accept a painful departure into the unknown…
Some people are forced from their homes and must start a long journey of migration…
So many people of different nations make the experience of ‘diaspora’ – being strangers into foreign lands…

For many of us the displacement, the movement, will not be geographical, but no less real.
We need to move from self-complacency to a more authentic living…
We have to abandon our old certainties to find new ways of understanding, of being…
We must leave our egoistic attitudes to pay attention to the needs of those around us…

This journey cannot be described in terms of steps, stations, or kilometers.
But it will involve leaving what is familiar and accept to be… displaced by God.
He – God-with-us – will bring us to the place he has meant for us –
the place of true happiness and deep peace which we long for…
 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/fete-de-la-nativite-du-seigneur-annee-a-2022-2023/ 

 

Source: Images: www.churchofjesuschrist.org   Pinterest

Nativity of the Lord, Year C – 2021

Someone telling a group of friends that he, or she, has received some good news would set their minds thinking.
Their curiosity would lead them to try and guess what this piece of good news can be…
A promotion? Winning the lotto? Going on holidays?
Perhaps the visit of a loved one? Or, maybe, expecting a child?
If after a few moments enjoying the friends’ guessing, the person said:

“God has come to us, yes, he’s come to our home,” –
the reaction of the group would probably be one of silent… amazement!
The friends would be utterly bewildered…
GOD, GOD has gone to his/her home!

If these words were said, not in a joking fashion but as a statement of deep faith,
it might be an incentive for the listeners to become aware that…
the same thing could be true for them, the same good news!

In fact, this is precisely the message of the gospel on the feast of the Nativity (Luke 2:1-14).
The angel appearing to the shepherds tells them:

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.”
 
Good news, great joy, and for everyone!

Those more discrete among us may not like to say openly:
“God has come to our home”,
and it may not be necessary to voice the words.

But what is necessary, what is essential, for Christmas to be truly Christmas is
to realize it deeply and…
to allow God to be at home with us!

 

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/nativite-du-seigneur-annee-c-2021/

 

Source: Image: verseoftheday.com

Christmas, Year C

Some years ago, I saw a Christmas card of a very unusual design. It depicted the star of Bethlehem, shining bright. And the shadow this star cast on the ground had the shape of… a cross.  

L’attribut alt de cette image est vide, son nom de fichier est star-of-bethlehem-1.jpg.

Quite a prophetic expression and a unique evocation of the meaning of the Nativity. More than once, I searched the web in vain to find back this illustration. But the message has remained with me…

From the darkness of the Christmas night in Bethlehem to the darkness of Golgotha, a LIGHT has shone – the very one which has led the prophet Isaiah to say:

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Is.9:2)

And of the coming of Jesus in our world, the apostle John said with conviction:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (Jn.1:5)

The light of him who could say:

“I am the Light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (Jn.8:12)

“The light of life” this is the gift of Christmas offered to us by God himself.

A unique gift, the one we can’t do without!

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/noel-annee-c/

 

Source: Image: youtube