The Holy Family
So this Christmas I decided to read Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Bendict XVI. I was first introduced to the book during a retreat I mentioned earlier and I figured hey its Christmas why not!
Christmas is such a momentous time. After midnight mass one of the priest saw that I was reading this book. He said that the introduction alone makes this book worth it. Since I just finished the introduction right before mass I agreed. So I was wondering what in the introduction might help other people as it helped me this Christmas. There were two passages that have been helpful to me, I hope it will help you also:
"Israel is allowed to hope for a new Moses, who has yet to appear, but who will be raised up at the appropriate hour. And the characteristic of this "prophet" will be that he converses with God face-to-face, as a friend does with a friend. His distinguishing note will be his immediate relationship with God, which enables him to communicate God's will and word firsthand and unadulterated. And that is the saving intervention which Israel- indeed, the whole of humanity- is waiting for." page 5.
I don't think I have ever heard this understanding of a prophet before. I have heard of a prophet described as "the mouth of God" or a person who can read the signs of the times to "predict" the future. But a prophet as one who converses with God as a friend is like Must See TV, its new to me. This sheds a new light on how we are called to live out our Baptismal promises as prophet, priest and king. We are baptized in Jesus and share in His Life and His mission as prophet, priest and king. When I was baptized , I am baptized as a disciple of Jesus.
"The disciple who walks with Jesus is thus caught up with him [Jesus] into communion with God. And that is what redemption means: this stepping beyond the limits of human nature, which had been there as a possibility and an expectation in man ... since the moment of creation." page 8.
Humanity from its inception was meant to be surpassed. We were given reason and free will as tools to go deeper. Our nature really is fascinating. It is in this surpassing we become fully human, we become, with God's grace, children of God. Jesus came to show us, on one level, we were meant for God. When we were created we were created for God. We are given an infinite desire, our own personal hunger for God.
I am beginning to realize this and maybe I am projecting but I think I think other people are starting to realize this also. There seems to be a feeling of restlessness from most of the people I talk to. I am at the point where the latest TV, video game, trend, exotic culture or thing/s are not enough anymore. The latest ______ is not enough. Nothing is fulfilling in this world and midnight mass has reminded me of this. Here are the readings for midnight mass. The words from the prophet Isaiah reminded me of this:
"The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,"
Isaiah 9: 1-2
When the darkness is so great and overwhelming even a small candle IS a great light. The darkness and loneliness I am going through is the same darkness where Christ is born. The darkness and loneliness that the shepherds lived everyday is the same darkness where the angels had visited them. An angel is visiting me now shrouded in darkness. He is telling me, "Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid for Christ is here." He is telling me to makes space for Jesus. I need to experience how much all this other stuff fulfills me to know that only God fulfills. What a great Christmas gift!
Christ wants me to fulfill my baptismal promise and is reminding me of my prophetic nature, which is what, I think, we are all called to do. He wants me to meet Him face-to-face. To talk to him and to communicate His will to myself, at the very least if not to others as well. Jesus wants me and He wants me to want Him. I think I am getting close to realizing He is the one who I want! This makes what I am going through make sense.
Merry Christmas me!!!
And Merry Christmas to everyone reading and not reading this!
I hope y'all have an Awesome Christmas!