Blog # 414 Advent
During Advent the liturgical readings at Mass reach out in hope and joyful anticipation toward the fulfillment of the promise made in Genesis , the first Book of the Bible, and is reconfirmed and called to mind down through many years of history in Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Samuel, Zephaniah, and the Book of Psalms. Beautiful visions of peace and joy are being set before us to be fulfilled when the Messiah, the Promised One, will come.
Finally Gabriel reveals to Mary the time had come for the Messiah to be born. She would be his mother and he would be given the name Jesus, Savior. He grew up and became a man in the ordinary way all of us have done. Assuming the role of Rabbi, he began to speak of God as his Father. He began to say and do things that only God was expected to do, such as healing the sick and raising the dead to life. He claimed to be alive even before Abraham came to be. Then he was falsely condemned as a criminal and died on Calvary. From the Cross he told us his mission on earth as one of us was complete. "It is finished"' Now, and down through 2000 years of history we who believe find the divine and original mission of the person of the Word of God continuing until the end of time in the Resurrected Person of Jesus.
For those who stood at the foot of the Cross and thought Jesus was a fraud, he received in death the punishment he deserved. For Jesus, his death was a witness and expression of the love that God deserved. For Mary his mother, the few disciples who stood by him to the end, and to us who continue to listen to him and follow him in response to the Father's identification of Jesus as His Beloved Son at the time of his Baptism by John, Jesus continues on as the risen Savior, the incarnate, eternal, infinite, Word of God Among Us, Emmanuel!
For us who believe, the death of Jesus as one of us, in human history, was a human act of unconditional trust and total love for the Father. As an infinite act of the single person of the Word of God, incarnate as one of us and called Jesus, the death Mary and the few disciples witnessed on Calvary was the fulfillment hoped for since its promise was given to Adam and Eve, the promise of a new eternal covenant, the power to pray, to forgive and be forgiven, to love our enemies and one another as we love ourselves, to love God above all, lasting peace, genuine joy, and the accomplishment in Jesus of God's will for us, all day every day until "it is finished" in the unconditional trust and total love of our death!
The message of salvation brought to earth from Heaven by the Eternal Word of God, in
Jesus was to be shared with everyone, whoever or wherever we might be. As St. John Paul II put it: "All who are Baptized are missionaries."Jn. 20: 21). The gift of peace and joy that comes from knowing and loving God is intentional on the part of God. It was planned that way from the beginning of creation. "Taste and see how good the Lord is!"(Ps 34:9).