Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Joy to the World

Joy to the World

When Mary greeted Elizabeth, the child in her womb leaped for joy.

And so when I heard the story of the birth of that baby I too greeted the news with joy.

Ever since the first Christmas that I can remember, the happiness of our home was filled with people, decoration, generosity of spirit and great joy.

The birth of any baby and the sight of a mother carrying her little one all wrapped in blankets or swaddling bands, is a sight that brings joy to the human heart.

Nowadays we show one another pictures of the mother and her baby.

In ancient times, the church too, showed the holy mother with her sacred child in beautiful iconography.

And out of joy and hope the faithful have lit candles and said prayers for millennia.

The devotion of the ages rings out like church bells across the land.

And so the news with which the Church greets the world then as it does to day is the same forever; “Joy to the World”!

Mary sang of the joy she had in her heart.

It was she who was to become the chosen instrument of God to bring Peace and Justice into this world.

Through her child, the proud, the powerful the rich and those who exploit the poor would be put on notice.

In her Child, the poor would be filled with good things while the rich would be sent away empty.

At the very least, it was the hope of the church throughout the ages that the disparity between those who have and those who don’t would be somehow closed. It is a perversity of the Gospel when the hope of Mary and the mandate of Jesus is ignored.

We cannot read the Gospel without at least noticing that this is what the book says!

“Joy to the World!”

The message is one of Justice. It is a justice that brings Peace.

It is one of joyous music with Angels bending near to earth…to bring the message of God; “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to ALL”.

The message is one so replete with joy that Mary sings it and the church joins her in her song throughout the ages. Her song is a song of Justice and compassion and is set within an indelible image of tenderness-a mother holding her child.

Mind you it is the same mother who holds her child too some years later.

Michelangelo’s image of the Mother holding her child in the “Pieta” is an unforgettable image of a mother’s exquisite agony at the loss of her baby.

A child that was executed by the state for blasphemy and other trumped up and unjust charges lay dead in the tomb for three days.

Joy to the world!

The greatest surprise of faith that is!

There is room in God’s heart for the love of everyone now!

The risen Christ is alive in us now.

Our sins are forgiven us. Therefore we can repent and live anew!

The silent child asleep in a manger is alive forever and Mary’s song rings out across the world with renewed joy.

Whatever the newspapers, CNN or Fox News says, the Good News of Jesus is the last Word.

Jesus is the Word made flesh to dwell among us forever.

There are armies and insurgents, multinational corporations, and schemers and dreamers of allsorts and all may have their day, but then God has the last Word and the Word became Flesh and the Word dwelt among us, and we beheld the Glory of God…the Glory as of the only begotten of God.

The Word made flesh is now and forever the Word of God.

And the Word of God says; “Joy to the World”!

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