baby Jesus

Merry Christmas! (sorry it’s late)

Sorry for the recent radio silence. There’s no particular reason for it.

I just thought I’d deliver the yearly reminder that on Christmas day, approximately 2,019 years ago, God was born amongst us as a teeny tiny baby. Almighty God hid Himself in the Blessed Virgin’s womb. The Lord God of Hosts was wrapped in swaddling bands. The creator of the universe was nestled up in Joseph’s arms.

It’s true that this post has missed the big day, but the magi are running later still! The divine babe is still newborn, and hasn’t even received His name yet.

We shouldn’t shy away from the absurdity of the Incarnation. Who in their right mind would ever worship a newborn (or even, unborn) baby as the omnipotent creator of all? What kind of God would genuinely become a human, with all of our weakness and suffering and vulnerability? The God who is love would.

Love unites the lover to the beloved. Love condescends. Love is vulnerable. Love is weak. Love is small. Love is dependent. Love is almighty.

God is not a philanthropist, trying to better everyone’s lives from the outside: He is the lover of us, and desires to give Himself to us entirely. He loves us!

Can you imagine if we loved Him like He loves us? Can you imagine how differently we would live? Can you imagine how happy we would be?

May the Christchild bless you!

Newborn

Each Christmas, we celebrate the newly born Jesus, much as we celebrate any child’s birth. We gaze at the child, with that sacred awe, wonder and love. There is a new soul, seeing the world for the first time. A new person, with the potential to become anyone. A new human, free from the scars of life’s suffering and sin. A new beginning for humanity, with endless possibilities.

So what makes Jesus special then? How come we celebrate Him as a newborn, when we know He is something far greater than any other?

Firstly, Jesus is perfectly free from original sin. Jesus’s and Mary’s births are without any stain of sin, whereas every other birth, has that seed of corruption, waiting to destroy the young soul and the whole world with it. Even after baptism, we retain the stain of sin, and our nature’s inclination towards it. Jesus and Mary are perfectly free of humanity’s corruption.

Secondly, and more importantly, Jesus is God’s own newborn son, from all eternity. He is the definitive newborn child.

He is born of God from all eternity, and all things are born of God in Him. He is the firstborn of creation, and the unity of all things. The newness in the child Jesus is all the newness, all the freshness, all the life, of the entire universe. This child contains everything, everyone, every height and depth, past, present and future.

We are in a way reborn in the eyes of every new born child. But in Jesus’s birth, we are truly recreated, because His new gaze contains us perfectly.

At His birth we see the entire Cosmos bending over the manger to gaze upon him: a star of heaven moves in order to watch over Him; the wise come from afar to honour Him; the simple leave their flocks to adore Him; the ox and lamb share His presence; and by the cave He was born in, the very earth itself leans over to get a look.

We don’t celebrate Jesus’s birthday at Christmas, we celebrate His birth. We don’t put 2,018 candles on a cake for Him, or get Him a birthday card, because this day doesn’t mark Him getting older. We celebrate His birth, His being given to the world, and our being reborn in Him. He is the eternal Newborn Child, and has never and will never grow old.

So it is perfectly correct for us to gaze on Jesus as being a newly born baby. He is true God and true man, but you will not find His divinity except in His humanity.

God bless, and merry Christmas!

How does Baby Jesus love us?

At mass on Christmas day, I wondered, how does the newborn Jesus love us? What does it mean that He loves us?

Babies are sort of pathetic (in the nicest way). They pretty much do nothing, apart from eating, sleeping and crying. They are dependent on others for literally everything.

This is how the newborn Jesus loves us. Not by being powerful and doing us favours, but by being powerless, giving Himself into our hands and accepting our care.

Jesus gives Himself away, and opens Himself to receive us. Whoever welcomes Him with their care, is more truly being welcomed into Him.

Merry Christmas and God bless, to you and your kin!

Mother of Light

[I’ve decided to start sharing some art on here. I think we undervalue and underutilise beauty today, and need to reverse that immediately]

‘Truly I have set my soul
in silence and peace.
A child on its mother’s breast,
even so is my soul.’
(Ps 130:2)

God bless you!

The painting is called, Mother of Light, and it’s from http://www.artofamaryknollsister.com/Details.asp?ProdID=628&category=2 (but I found it through pinterest).

The first to look forward to Christmas

It’s getting to the time of the year when we start looking forward to Christmas. We look forward to the love we all share and the gifts we give and receive. But let‘s not forget the original (and still the best!) Christmas, and all those who eagerly awaited it.
Firstly, we have YHWH God, the Almighty. The Father was looking forward to sending the greatest gift the world had ever seen, and seeing the smiles on their faces as the wrapping is removed and they receive the revelation of Jesus Christ. He planned this gift for a very, very long time. Even as He punished His children, He looked forward to giving them this great gift.
Then we have the angels. They were neither giving, nor receiving, but were overjoyed to watch us receive such a gift. We don’t know when God showed them His gift to us of Himself, but we see their excitement from their behaviour before the Shepherds.

And suddenly there came with the messenger a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory in the highest to God, and upon earth peace, among men—good will.’
Luke 2:13-14

“Come quick, you‘ve got the best present ever!“ is how a Christmas day child would put it.
Next, there are the prophets, who were shown the coming of the Christ long ago. It was revealed to them that He would be born of a virgin, in the town of Bethlehem. They saw many of the details of the present, including our redemption on the cross and looked forward to it for us. Abraham was glad to see Jesus days.
Mary eagerly awaited her child‘s birth for nine months. She was included in both the giving and receiving of the gift of Jesus Christ, by the grace of God.

‘Because He looked on the lowliness of His maid-servant, For, lo, henceforth call me happy shall all the generations, For He who is mighty did to me great things, And holy is His name, And His kindness is to generations of generations, To those fearing Him‘
(Mary’s words) Luke 1:48-50

She looked forward to her giving and us receiving, and herself receiving God’s gift of her son.
Joseph looked forward to the Saviour‘s arrival, and getting to see him grow up and help him, and receive God’s gift of salvation himself.
The wise men (“mages from the east“) saw the star of the King of the Jews, and came a long long way to bow down to him. They planned to bring offerings to the new-born-king of great worth– gold, frankincense and myrrh. They made the great journey, because they wanted to see the King given to the world. Their excitement must have grown with each step as they approached the star above Bethlehem.
Finally, the shepherds. A messenger of the Lord came to them in the night, and gave them quite a fright.

‘because there was born to you to-day a Saviour—who is Christ the Lord—in the city of David, and this is to you the sign: Ye shall find a babe wrapped up, lying in the manger.’
Luke 2:11-12

They hurried to Bethlehem immediately, that first Christmas night, with a holy excitement hurrying them forwards to see Christ the Lord.
Our excitement for our Christmas is a mere shadow of the excitement before the first Christmas.
God bless you thoroughly.