HASTE, haste to bring HIM laud...

WHAT CHILD IS THIS? by Father Angelus Shaughnessy

This child is God.

Our Heavenly Father knows how hard it is for us to love somebody we cannot get our arms around. We are supremely happy because our God did become a little bundle of 7 or 8 pounds, so we could get our arms around His Divine Son, to hold Him tight and love Him right.

God is Love! Jesus is Love wrapped in flesh for keeps, forever, for all eternity...to teach us how to love. He came with the irresistible charm of a snuggling infant. His argument still challenges: I loved you first, love me back! He would do anything to get our love, to steal our hearts, even to sneak out of heaven to do so. The only thing this Baby-God would have done more to show His love happened 33 years later: those limbs now fully grown, pinned back to the wood of the cross. You see: He came into this world not to live (He already had life from all eternity) but to die -- for each one of us. He is Jesus, our Saviour.

For us who really believe this Christmas message, every other story about Him is almost easy to believe. Just think what Christmas means: God to become man, Heaven to come down to earth, eternity to invade time, God to take on the human condition (a human soul and a human body) and to keep it even after returning to heaven at His Ascension, in a glorified yet human state.

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." This is the giant step from Creator-status to creature-status. Everything else, even in the Bible, seems so much smaller. In the history of the world, the Holy Thursday Gift of the Holy Eucharist, St. Thomas Aquinas says, is the greatest miracle: that bread and wine become the Body and Blood, the Soul and Divine Nature of the Risen Lord, just as He is now with His glorified Risen Body in heaven. This Sacrament is but a continuation and extension in time and place of the enfleshment that took place 2000 years ago.

If I can believe the Christmas story, the Easter miracle of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not so hard for me to believe. If Jesus is God, I would almost expect Him to rise from the dead and also to give Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist as the memorial of His love and the re-presentation of that bloody sacrifice on Calvary. If the victim on the cross is God, that event would just have to be repeated and re-presented till the end of time. And it is by His design and His invention and His intention in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the unbloody way He gave himself to us the night before He died. So in the thought of Father Faber, it shouldn't be too hard for us, as we contemplate His birth this Christmas, to hear the small inarticulate cries from His infant lips, to see the little limbs tremble with the chill of the cave, and Mary, the Virgin Mother, adoring profoundly the Eternity of Him who is but a minute old. We see Him in the manger, a feeding trough for animals, which foretold the wonders of His Altar, where He would become the very food of sinners. That manger was a foreshadowing of His Sacramental residence with men from the Ascension till the doom, till doomsday, until He comes again in Glory.

And He will! Count on it! Because this child is God! Christmas is Christ's Mass!

copyright Father Angelus Shaughnessy, Order of Friars Minor CapuchinSaint Clare of Assisi Friary, 622 Delaware Avenue, Clairton, PA 15025web site: http://www.fatherangelus.com/

One of my favorite Christmas songs...

What a great voice this singer has and I luv the pictures used.


Jamie said...

So beautiful, I could listen to this song over and over!

Merry Christmas JMJ!

Sarah - Kala said...

Happy Christmas!

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