Friday, December 31, 2010

BLOG # 95 Christmas, an event to be lived

Blog # 95 Christmas, an event to be lived I have heard it said that one of the greatest dangers to a happy growing and lasting marriage relationship is for the partners to take one another for granted rather than daily discovering one another again and again ever more deeply as the years of their marriage go on. In a similar vein, years ago when I was teaching a class in marriage the class came up with this definition of fidelity in marriage : I will try to keep myself as attractive to you as when you first discovered me. This year it occurred to me to apply these insights relating to marriage to our celebration of the birth of Jesus. Trying to look back on it I imagined I first discovered Jesus as attractive about 80 years ago when I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs on a Christmas morning and found the Lionel trains were all set up on the parlor floor and presents were laid out around the room for everyone in the family. Now in 2010 for many of us the same beautiful artificial tree was taken in from the garage and set up in the parlor with the same strings of lights wrapped around it , the same decorations hung upon its limbs and the same beautiful angel presiding over it from its peak. All of this was good and made for a meaningful celebration in the family. Pictures were taken and stored with those of other years , and in a few happy weeks Christmas will be put away until next year. The decorations and parties yes, but let's not put the event of Christmas behind us. When a baby is born into a normal human family the event of the baby's birth is the beginning of an eternal relationship that is designed by God to grow and develop. So it should be with the birth of the divine Word of God on earth as Jesus, close to two thousand years ago in history and currently in our official personal liturgical celebration of Christmas in 2010. The baby Jesus will grow and live among us as God and as one of us, in our private prayers, our family prayer, and in our official public liturgical celebration of His life and love for us, again as we have known it before, and in new ways that are yet to be created this coming year. As with the case of a newly married couple, so that of another man and wife married fifty years, a power- laden and beautiful question they are entitled and called to ask of one another every day is how can I know you better and love you more. We Baptized believers are united to Jesus in a way He Himself described as branches on a vine. We share the life of that vine with the vine itself and with the other branches of the vine. Certainly we are entitled and called to ask of Jesus and one another how can I know you better and love you more. If this were to happen, the event of Christmas would not be put away in the garage.

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