In the book of Genesis, God’s first words to human beings after sin enters the world are: “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9).
Deeply emblematic of the rupture between humans and God, these probing words both sadden and inspire us. On one hand, we respond: “I’m sorry! I’m ashamed!” On the other: “I’m here, God! I’m here!”
It is in answer to both of these gut responses that Jesus has come. It is in response to both that he is born in us at Christmas. For God so loved the world that God also calls out: “I’m here!”
This Christmas, my prayer is that a reassurance, a peace that passes all understanding, will lodge in our hearts—a reassurance that there is no more need for God and for us to call out to each other with those heartbroken words: “Where are you?” No more rupture, no more shame. Christ our Savior is born . . . and the soul felt its worth!
Merry Christmas, all!
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Thank you to my friend Jeanne for sharing these words of encouragement from the New York Times: “Staying Catholic at Christmas.”
My December column for Catholic Digest is available online: “5 Bible Facts for Advent.”
The Saint Ann Choir will give a free Christmas concert on Sun., Dec. 30, 4:00 p.m., 501 Naugatuck Ave., Milford, CT. I look forward to seeing some of you there!
A note on today’s blog: The fact that God’s first words to Adam and Eve after they sinned were “Where are you?” is pointed about by Enzo Bianchi in his wonderful little book God, where are you? Practical Answers to Spiritual Questions. He says that God asks Adam and Eve where they are, but soon enough, we begin to ask God where he is! Christmas is an especially fruitful time to ponder these questions.