O Immanuel, you are our King and Judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.
O Come and save us, Lord our God.
Immanuel, a name which means God is with us.
In Jesus we see our God made visible.
This is what Christ said on coming into the world. “You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. I am coming to do your will.” And this will was for us, you and me, to be made Holy by the offering of that body once and for all, for our salvation.
For us and our salvation, as the Creed says, He came down from Heaven. For no other reason, The Eternal Word, God from God, took flesh and became a helpless babe totally at the mercy of humankind and eventually put to death by the very people He had come to save.
It is not sufficient then to celebrate Jesus birthday. It is not enough to gaze with wonder and awe at the crib. Jesus emptied himself and entered our world for one reason and one reason only, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, we might enter Heaven.
Whether we realise it or not, every human being awits Jesus because Jesus alone makes salvation possible for the whole human race. All the restless longings of the human heart have their answer in Him. We who have come from God, are created with a hidden ache to return to Him, and only Jesus can bring this about.
God being with us in this world is not the final meaning of the Incarnation. Christ came to be with us so that through His life, death and Resurrection, he would become the Way by which we could be re joined to God’s purpose in creating us- to be happy with Him forever.
Looking at photos of my grand nephew during Advent, gave me great food for reflection and examination. Caoimhe willingly and gladly has let go of so much to give her infant son her undivided attention. Her world revolves around Sam. She quite literally never leaves him out of her sight. Her gaze is continually drawn in wonder and protection to her child and she experiences a love she did not even know that she possessed. Her son is drawing forth from her hidden depths didn’t realise she had. But for all that, it is only by bringing Sam to the baptismal font that she and Daniel, her husband, will fulfil baby Sam’s deepest need and his purpose for being on this earth.
Immanuel, God with us, our beloved, need never be out of our sight. Because he took flesh, we may gaze on his real Presence, His real Body in the Sacred Host and adore him as often as we like. As the Hymn puts it ‘ Hail our Saviour’s glorious body which his Virgin Mother bore’. Daily we may receive Him, his body as food, so that we might grow up into Him who is our Head, truly becoming the body of Christ by being transformed into Him. Daily too we may gaze with love on him in the other members of his Body and in each other cater for His every need. And daily through our faith, our love, our prayer and our sacrifice we may bring Him to a waiting world ,in need of it’s Saviour.
During Christmastide may we on behalf of the whole human Family give Jesus truly present in the Blessed sacrament, all the love, all the time and all the attention a mother gives her new born Child.
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