Friday, December 23, 2011

It is Merry, and It is Christmas

Mary, saying Yes to the birth of the Son of God from her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, places her body, her entire self, at God’s disposal as a place for his presence.

Mary, the Church at the Source, 49
Reflection – There is a mysterious reality of Christmas captured in this quote from Ratzinger. Christmas is such a very festive time, with all that makes up the reality ‘festivity’ for us: food and drink, friends and family, gifts and parties… and maybe, just maybe, the occasional church service!
But at the core of this merry jovial and hopefully fun time is this deep mystery. The mother. The child. God taking flesh. A womb, and what issues forth from it: God, salvation, eternal life.
And this mystery of Mary’s freely participating in this, her free consent, her fiat. And this is where and how God becomes present.
And out of this flows, then, song and dance, wassails and eggnog, tinsel and tarts.
The two must be held together: depth of mystery exploding in silence and beauty from the heart of God, the womb of Mary, the manger surrounded by stars and angels and wonderment; silliness and nonsense and excess and laughter, laughter, laughter.
Without the mystery, the silliness and excess degrades into a mere bacchanal. Without the frolic, the mystery becomes something beyond us, something we poor little humans cannot quite get to.
Merry Christmas. It is merry, and it is Christ’s Mass. It is a time for turkey and stuffing and good wine and song and laughter; it is the self-offering of the God-man, in humility on the straw.
And this becomes our mystery. We can be joyful, laughing, singing, full of jokes and nonsense… and daily lay down our lives for God and one another. And God is present, in that place.
Merry Christmas.

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